Tourism is worth £110 million to area

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Tourism is worth £110 million to the area, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough COuncil has heard.

At last week’s Leisure and Development Committee members heard from Council’s Tourism Manager, Peter Thompson.

He informed membesr that in this Council area one in 12 jobs was connected to tourism. He added that 64 percent of visits to the area are from the domestic market which highlights the high dependency in the area of Northern Ireland visitors.

As members approved a Tourism and Destination Management Strategy, the Tourism Manager told members that there is a need to deliver an experience to tourists. He also outlined the importance of attracting visitors from outside Northern Ireland.

Comparing the average spend in Northern Ireland - £47 per night, to the average in Scotland where the overnight spend is £68, Mr Thompson explained that if the overnight expenditure was closed, it would be worth £48 million to the economy. Mr. Thompson added that there is ‘huge potential’ to highlight the fantastic food in the area.

He said that work is currently taking place with the Causeway Food cluster to build on this potential. Coleraine DUP Councillor Trevor Clarke commended Mr. Thompson on the excellent work that has been done, and added that as an area, food tourism could be highlighted especially as 2016 is the Year of food in Northern Ireland.

He proposed the Strategy for approval which was seconded by Councillor Hickey and carried by the committee.

At the same meeting the newly appointed Policing and Community Safety Partnership manager Bridget McCaughan was introduced to the committee. The Committee were also informed that letters of offers had been sent to nine individuals.