SINN Féin MLA Chris Hazzard has said the Tourist Board must do more to promote the Downpatrick area and surrounding district in order to increase the tourism product in South Down.
Mr Hazzard said: “Myself and fellow MLA Caitrióna Ruane held a meeting this week with NITB in order to look at ways of increasing the tourist potential of South Down.
“South Down has some of the most beautiful geographical features on the island from the Mourne Mountains to pristine beaches like Tyrella and Ballyhornan, as well as history stretching from St Patrick through to the present day. Downpatrick and the Lecale area particularly need to be better promoted by the Tourist Board in order for the area to fully maximise the potential benefits of this history across Ireland and internationally.
“Now that the Minister for Environment has ruled out a National Park in the Mournes, Caitrióna and I emphasised the need for the NITB to take on the challenge of making the Mournes one of the premier attractions and destinations on the island.
“South Down has massive tourism potential if it is marketed and branded successfully but we also need an upgrade in infrastructure to complete the task. That is why we were keen also to raise the issue of the Narrow Water Bridge which has just been approved.
“I look forward to working with the NITB in the future to see that South Down maximises its potential and builds a tourism industry that could be the catalyst for economic regeneration in the area.”