With the thought of flying somewhere distant not just as appealing as usual, this summer is the perfect time to have a holiday a bit closer to home!

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Laura Devlin is encouraging people across the district to support staycation holidays this summer and into the autumn. 

Friday 3 July saw our hotels, bars and restaurants open their doors to the public for the first time since lockdown began. Speaking about plans for the tourism and hospitality industry to reopen, Chairperson Councillor Laura Devlin said, “We are delighted to be at this stage where we are beginning to reopen. We are fortunate in the Visit Mourne region to have many amazing opportunities and experiences for people to discover in their own back yard and we have joined up with our local tourism industry to provide exciting incentives to encourage locals and visitors to enjoy the unforgettable experiences that we have to offer.

Bluebell Lane Glamping, Mullaghbawn is just one of the destinations locally perfect for a staycation. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/
Bluebell Lane Glamping, Mullaghbawn is just one of the destinations locally perfect for a staycation. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/

“These experiences will be promoted through our new marketing campaign, ‘Giant Adventures Ahead’, which is closely aligned with Tourism NI’s new experience brand, ‘Embrace a Giant Spirit’ to promote Northern Ireland on the island of Ireland and internationally. As we emerge from lockdown it is important to acknowledge that our businesses will play a key role in the tourism recovery, which will, in the first instance, begin at home, then focus on close to home markets on the island of Ireland and Great Britain.”   

Cllr Devlin continued, “We are encouraging local people to see through the eyes of the tourists who come here for the warmth of the welcome, world class food and drink, the beauty of the landscapes and the immersive experiences on offer.

“The Visit Mourne Giant Adventures Ahead marketing campaign will focus on four different themes, ‘Follow the Giant Footsteps’, which will include the legends that this area is renowned for; ‘Let Sleeping Giants Lie’, offering a range off staycation incentives within the destination for you to holiday at home; ‘Join Our Giant Feast’, which will include tantalizing offers from brewery and distillery tours to bread making demonstrations and sampling our finest local food and drink offerings, and ‘Meet out Giant Personalities’ – an introduction to the people who are our industry and who offer visitors a warm, welcoming and friendly experience that make this place ‘giant’.

“As we encourage people to have a staycation we all have a responsibility to remind people visiting our beautiful district to ‘’Leave no Trace’ by disposing of waste properly, being considerate of others, respecting wildlife and farm animals and park responsibly.”

Details of these incentives can be found at

 Get out and rediscover your own place better because there is no place like home!”

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