Published on : Friday, November 30, 2018
Niall Gibbons – chief executive of Tourism Ireland said that the discretionary spending such as tourism was likely to be hit first if Brexit dents consumer confidence. The figures estimate that more than 2.2 million people will have visited Northern Ireland in 2018, with tourism revenue rising 4% to £589 million.
Gibbons said an European Union withdrawal deal is needed to provide certainty for the tourism industry.
The tourism Ireland is aiming to increase visitor spend by 8% next year and the tourism body has established a taskforce to monitor Brexit developments. The final season of Game of Thrones – which is filmed in Northern Ireland – and The Open at Royal Portrush will form part of its 2019 marketing campaign. Gibbons also to0ld that it is important for their perspective that there is a certainty and some sort of a ideal in place, but they just adapt their plan as time moves on.
But certainly, if British people are to stay at home, it’s more likely, according to the research we have done, that Scotland, the Lake District and Cornwall are the places more likely to benefit.
“If people are feeling less certain then discretionary spend like tourism is generally the first part to get hit, so it’ll place Northern Ireland in a more vulnerable situation than other parts of the UK.”
Tourism Ireland plans to use the growth in hotel room numbers in Belfast and Londonderry as an opportunity to promote city breaks.