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Foster snubs Derry in tourism promotion -McLaughlin MLA

7 November, 2012 - by Maeve McLaughlin


Sinn Féin Enterprise Committee member, Maeve McLaughlin MLA (Foyle) has accused DETI Minister Arlene Foster of narrow political motivation in her failure to take advantage of a Tourism Ireland advertising campaign promoting City of Culture in Derry next year.

Maeve McLaughlin said:

"Tourism Ireland is launching a TV advertising campaign in advance of City of Culture next year. The Tourist board is indicating that it wants to do a Derry campaign but needs it authorised by DETI. But it would seem that Minister Arlene Foster for what seems narrow political stubbornness is being less than enthusiastic in cooperating despite opportunities such as Fleadh Cheoil na h-Éireann and other key events coming to Derry next year.

Ms McLaughlin continued:

"In a written question to the Minister I asked for an update on, and the timeline for, the Tourist Board's bespoke marketing campaign for Derry 2013.

"In a dismissive reply ignoring the potential of the Tourism Ireland proposed promotion, Minister Foster indicated that NITB is working with partners in Derry to develop an agreed marketing strategy for City of Culture. In other words she does not intend to avail of the Tourism Ireland offer of a Derry campaign aimed at maximising the potential of 2013. I believe that the Minister's response is both narrow minded and politically parochial. It's time that some Ministers realised that we cannot reach our full tourism and economic potential by ignoring the opportunities presented by promoting the island of Ireland as one unit."While the Minister's presence at Tourism Ireland sponsored stands at events such as the World Travel Market is laudable it is no substitute for wholehearted cooperation with the tourist body. The sincerity of her comment at the Tourism Ireland stand at the World Travel Market this week that  'it is important that we stand out from the crowd and capture the attention of the influential global media and travel trade in attendance' would be easier achieved if she grasped the potential presented by marketing the North as part of a worldwide promotion of the island of Ireland as a unit for tourism purposes. " CRÍOCH

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