Tourism figures highlight the success of All-Ireland marketing
Sinn Féin's Tourism Spokespersons, Martin Ferris TD and Philip McGuigan MLA, have welcomed the increase in tourists visiting the Six Counties and have said that it is clearly down to the work of Tourism Ireland and the marketing of Ireland as a whole.
Mr McGuigan said:
"NITB projections for 2004 show that over two million tourists will have visited the north by the end of the year. Tourism has come leaps and bounds in the past 5 years and a lot of this is down to the marketing of Ireland as a single destination.
"We believe that the north has a lot more potential to fulfil if a pragmatic and open approach to tourism is adopted.
"The continuing success of the Irish tourism industry must be enjoyed by all sections of Irish society and we would urge the industry to further develop community tourism. Events like the Gasworks Féile in Derry or Féile an Phobal in West Belfast, which is the largest community festival in Europe, have significantly contributed to the growth of the industry in the north and this must be recognised.
"As the tourism sector continues to grow we must make sure that it is used to help boost the economic potential of rural communities as well as urban areas. The increase in co-operation between the 6 and 26 Counties since the Good Friday Agreement has clearly had an impact on the growth within this industry.
"It is obvious therefore that closer integration is required if the island as a whole is to reach its full potential." ENDS