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Foster needs real tourism strategy – McLaughlin MLA

3 June, 2013 - by Maeve McLaughlin

Sinn Féin DETI Committee Member, Maeve McLaughlin MLA (Foyle) has called on Tourism Minister, Arlene Foster, in light of the decrease in Tourism Industry employment to abandon her resistance to an all-Ireland strategy.

Maeve McLaughlin said:

“It is obvious that Arlene Foster’s approach to tourism promotion is not working. Despite the much heralded hosting of the Irish Open Golf Tournament, the opening of Titanic Belfast and other so-called signature projects tourism employment numbers decreased  by 2.2%  between September 2010 and September 20 12.

“It is obvious that the Minister’s ‘Our time Our place campaign’ didn’t work and some imagination needs to be instilled in new efforts to invigorate the tourism offering. The obvious step that Minister Foster needs to take is to recognise the opportunity that building a tourism strategy with the rest of Ireland – marketing the island as a single entity. This would remove the confusion faced by visitors wishing to maximise their experience of Ireland and allow them to access one stop shop information points detailing all of the historical, scenic and cultural offerings of the whole island.

“The North being promoted as part of a tourism package marketing the whole island could tap into the potential of attracting a high percentage of the tens of thousands that come to the island through southern ports but never venture north through lack of knowledge of what we have to offer.”

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