Tourism NI Continues To Back Local Businesses.
The Chief Executive of Tourism NI John McGrillen recently visited local tourism industry representatives across the Newry Mourne and Down district area.
He also met up with Councillor Laura Devlin, Chairperson of Newry Mourne and Down District Council, to discuss the impact of Covid-19 on local businesses in the area and why ‘staycations’ are the immediate priority.
During his visit Mr McGrillen spoke with owners and staff across a number of businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector in the NMD area to learn about the measures they have put in place to ensure the safety of visitors and staff. And he listened to their and concerns as they try to navigate through very challenging times of Covid-19.
Mr McGrillen said: “Our message in Northern Ireland is about staying at home, supporting local and focusing on the fact that we have a tremendous tourism product right on our doorstep.
“To promote this locally and to our visitors coming across the border, we launched our marketing campaign at the end of June, featuring our new brand, Northern Ireland Embrace a Giant Spirit.”
“In a typical year, 30% of our overnight spend is domestic.
“But as less people travel abroad for their holidays, it is a great opportunity for our domestic market to explore all that is wonderful about Northern Ireland.
“This year we can stay local while still getting away from it all, and in doing so you will be supporting an industry that is so important to our economy.”
“Thank you to the Newry Mourne and Down District Council and the fantastic local businesses that I got to meet with during my visit.
“It was great seeing so many people, locally and from the Republic of Ireland, enjoy all the brilliant hoteliers, tour guides, restauranteurs and visitor attractions in the area.
“Our tourism industry has seriously suffered from the effects of the lockdown.
“As we move through a period of recovery, we are sending a very clear message that your favourite places, as well as those yet to be discovered, are working very hard to give visitors a warm and safe welcome back.”
Councillor Laura Devlin, Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, said: “It was great to welcome John to visit just some of the businesses offering experiences, accommodation and outdoor activities which are critical to economic recovery as we encourage people to enjoy a staycation in 2020.
“The Council are working in partnership with Tourism NI and our local businesses to rebuild the value of tourism in the District.”