Blog » Plans To Grow NI’s Tourism Industry

Plans To Grow NI’s Tourism Industry

29th April 2024

THE Economy Minister Conor Murphy has laid out plans to grow Northern Ireland’s booming tourism industry.

Addressing Tourism NI’s annual conference, the Minister said he has been hugely impressed with the tourism industry’s optimism, energy, and ambition.

He said: “Tourism is truly a success story of the Good Friday Agreement. The number of external overnight visitors has more than quadrupled. Spending by visitors has increased more than sixfold in real terms. With 70% of jobs located outside of Belfast, the benefits of tourism are spread throughout the region. And given that the industry is primarily made up of local SMEs, we can be confident that these benefits are retained and reinvested locally.”

The Minister set out an outline of plans to grow tourism that will be co-designed and co-delivered with the industry. They include:

  • From this financial year, Tourism Ireland will be properly funded, to showcase the north’s tourism offering internationally
  • Working with the Minister of Finance to continue to make the case to the British Government for tourism and hospitality to harmonise the north’s rate of VAT with the south
  • Looking ahead to the next 10 years and strategically identifying major events Northern Ireland can host, either on its own, or as part of an all-Ireland bid;

Minister Murphy added: “To help take this forward, I will soon establish a Tourism Partnership Board made up of representatives from tourism and hospitality, Executive Departments, and local government. It will develop and oversee an Action Plan that will be co-designed and co-delivered with the industry.”

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