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Tourism Growth has been identified by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council as a key priority, to realise this ambition of becoming “one of the premier destinations on the Island of Ireland” and to this end the Council have initiated a tourism planning process.

The Council with the support of Tourism NI has commissioned TEAM Tourism Consulting, an international tourism consultancy who has worked in over 30 countries, to prepare an ambitious, bold and strategic plan that will drive tourism growth over the next four years and will lay the foundations for the longer term. It will be completed and ready for adoption during the summer of 2016.

St Patrick' Day is just one event that brings many visitors to Newry. The councils new Tourism strategy hopes to develop much more tourism in the district. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
St Patrick' Day is just one event that brings many visitors to Newry. The councils new tourism strategy hopes to develop much more tourism in the district. Photograph: Columba O'Hare

Roger Carter, MD from TEAM Tourism commented “The District is well-known within Northern Ireland the challenge now is to increase the number of new visitors from elsewhere and attract everyone to stay longer and spend more. Being successful will require a ‘road-map’ so that there is common agreement on the direction tourism is going. This Tourism Strategy will act as that ‘road-map’ and will show you how all the different players can work toward common goals.”

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Mickey Ruane commented, “While there are many opportunities to build on, we also recognise that it is important to develop a Tourism Strategy that supports and complements other important planning processes that are currently underway within the District. We will ensure that there is a close fit with the emerging Area Plan, the Rural Development Plan and the Community Plan. By focusing on creating this fit, the Tourism Strategy will reflect your aspirations expressed elsewhere. There are also important changes taking place at the national level and these, too, will need to be understood if we are to truly benefit from these changes. In May 2016, the new Department for the Economy will be created and will be responsible for delivery of a new Tourism Strategy for the North of Ireland. This is scheduled for launch in the Autumn 2016. We are working with DETI and Tourism NI to make sure that there is synergy between the strategies”.

John McGrillen Tourism NI CEO commented, "Tourism NI are delighted to be supporting Newry, Mourne and Down District Council in the development of their Tourism Strategy. The Council Strategy is being developed with consideration to the DETI NI Tourism Strategy, this approach will ensure that there are synergies between the strategies. This approach is to be commended as working in partnership will allow Newry, Mourne and Down to play a major role in making tourism in NI a £1bn industry by 2020".

A project website has been created www.newrymournedown-tourismstrategy.co.uk  which outlines a range of opportunities to get involved to ensure that all tourism businesses and stakeholders have the chance to contribute to the development of this strategy.

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