Tourism has the potential to transform our economy - McMullan
Tourism is a growth industry right across our island and one that makes a vital contribution to our economy – North and South – creating jobs and opportunities for our young people and local communities.
But Cairde, there is so much more potential.
People across the world recognise Ireland as one island – one country – and it is correct to market Ireland this way.
But this joint up approach must be reflected in visitors’ experience of Ireland, making it easy for them to enjoy all that our Island has to offer.
One of the most successful tourism initiatives in recent years has been the Wild Atlantic Way.
It has attracted many tourists to our wonderful coastline.
But Cáirde, the Atlantic Ocean doesn't stop at the border - and the Wild Atlantic Way should not stop at the border either!
It should include our North Coast – home to some of Ireland’s most famous landmarks, such as the Giants Causeway and the Glens of Antrim.
The recently opened A8 motorway from Larne to Belfast has already added an All-Ireland dimension in terms of road connectivity.
Tourists can now travel by motorway from Larne right down our entire East Coast.
In recent years our beautiful landscape and scenery have been showcased to a global audience.
Game of Thrones – one of the world's most successful TV shows – is filmed in a number of locations across the North. Many of these locations are in my own constituency of East Antrim such as the Cushendun Caves and the Antrim Coast Road.
Star Wars-one of the world’s most successful film franchises was filmed on Skellig Michael last year.
So – from the South-West to the
North-East – our Island has huge potential in attracting many more visitors
from all over the world.
Realising this Tourism potential can boost our creative industries, create jobs and provide more opportunities for entrepreneurs.
This would help stem the flow of immigration and provide employment for our young people here at home.
Let’s harness our country’s potential
Let’s build a tourism industry that’s sustainable, accessible and inclusive of all our people.
Let’s show the world ALL that Ireland has to offer!
GO RAIBH MAITH AGAIBH GO LÉIR.