‘We help our members grow through a variety of networking opportunities.’

E-tourism has a strong future in East Border Region

Micro enterprisers and SMEs in the tourism sector across the East Border Region recently attended their first Plato E-tourism Cluster Meeting where they heard how important it is for businesses to become digitized. The E-tourism launch event drew over 30 tourism businesses from Newry and Mourne and neighbouring areas excited about becoming more digitized and rejuvenated to work together in a collaborative network to promote tourism in East Border Region. The name of E-tourism cluster is to enhance the competition for the region whilst supporting businesses to develop e-commerce strategies. The participating companies in the cluster include a range of accommodation, adventure, activity and attraction type businesses from both sides of the border. Dr Cecelia Hegarty Director of PLATO EBR who officially welcomed the businesses to the first workshop said: “We have a diverse range of complimentary businesses in this Cluster from museums to self-catering cottages to well established adventure and bus tour companies, craft distilleries, hotels golfing, country estates, farm tours to community partnerships. This cluster is representative of the calibre of tourism within the region. It is exciting to observe the enthusiasm for networking and the appetite to share knowledge and experience in this new digital era. The participant companies are keen to think local and sell global which can only bode well for the East Border Region. The Cluster Programme has a tow pronged approach that will focus directly on supporting businesses to become more ‘digitized’ – Search Engine Optimisation, online platforms, social media – and secondly to enhance tourism and provider relationships (multiplier effects) by improving strategic inter-regional networking opportunities. As a result of the programme of activity the tourism and SMEs will feed into the development of a Cluster Action Plan for the long term benefit of tourism businesses within the region.


Newry Democrat

25th November 2014