Sinn Fein councillor Terry Hearty has welcomed the announcement of a tourism specific board for the Newry Mourne and Down District Council. The Tourism Strategy Task and Finish Project Board will meet monthly to develop tourism initiatives to rejuvenate the region as a tourism hub. As chair of the newly formed committee Mr Hearty said it had been something he’s lobbied for since the new council’s formation. “One of the advantages of the new council area is the opportunity to revamp and expand our entire tourism strategy,” he said. Mr Hearty continued, “This area has immense untapped potential to be a real tourist destination, which is why I felt that tourism needed its own designated grouping rather than being lumped into one committee with several other responsibilities. We’ll be working with both Tourism NI and Tourism Ireland as well as partnering up with other strategic bodies and the business community to turn that potential into a reality.” He said that gathering an innate understanding of the area’s unique selling points was fundamental to the plan: “We’ll be examining the area’s strengths and current attractions to see how they can be improved or better promoted. We’ll also be looking at some of the difficulties unique to this part of the country such as different currencies and exchange rates. Tourism infrastructure such as information centres and accommodation will also be a key area for us, as we will be looking for ways of packaging different parts of the district as one experience,” said Mr Hearty.
8th September 2015