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Donegal-Antrim coastline should be marketed as single tourism product

28 March, 2007

North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has said that much more could be done to boost tourism in North Antrim. Mr McKay was speaking at the Causeway Coast and Glens Master plan Forum in Carrickfergus.

Mr McKay said:

"Whilst the continued investment in the North Antrim area is to be welcomed much more needs to be done to build up the tourist infrastructure in this area to ensure that tourists do engage in more than just day-trips to the North Coast.

"There are many benefits to be gained from an All-Ireland approach to tourism here, something that we have not yet exploited. For example, Donegal is one of the main tourist hotspots in this part of Ireland yet this Causeway catchment area has confined it self to one side of the border. It makes much more sense for the North Coast to be marketed together as one single entity, from Donegal to Antrim, and it would also mean that places like Coleraine, Ballycastle and the Glens could tap into the Northwestern tourist market and the major benefits that would come with that.

"It is worth bearing in mind that there will now be significant transport infrastructure put in place to connect Donegal to Dublin making it easier for tourists to access this area, and given that Donegal is less than half an hour away from Coleraine it makes perfect sense to start homogenizing the north-east and north-west into one single marketable product.

"I would like to particularly welcome the projects which will be going forward in the next financial year, especially the development of a new Glens Of Antrim Cultural Centre and the extra focus that will be put on developing tourism on the Lower Bann, which is one area that has great potential if the proper infrastructure is put in place. There is clearly a lot more work to be done if North Antrim, the only part of Ireland with a World Heritage Site, is going to realise it's full potential." ENDS

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