Economy Minister Diane Dodds has launched a new visitor pledge to encourage safe and responsible tourism across Northern Ireland while supporting local businesses.
Hosted on the Discover Northern Ireland website, visitors are asked to show their support by signing up to the pledge and committing to the three core guidelines: Take Care of Each Other, Take Care of the Land, and Take Care of Local Businesses.
By taking the pledge, visitors are promising to take small steps that will make a giant difference to how we all enjoy and benefit from the many tourism experiences, local businesses and great outdoors across Northern Ireland.
Visitors are being asked to look out for each other by acting safely, to take care of the beautiful landscape by leaving no trace, and to show support for local businesses and the safety procedures they have in place.
The pledge also provides industry with assets to promote both in their business premises and online to encourage visitors to follow the guidelines.
Commenting on the visitor pledge Economy Minister Diane Dodds said: “These are challenging times for businesses so we welcome initiatives like the visitor pledge that encourages people to safely enjoy all that Northern Ireland has to offer. With the visitor pledge, we can all play a vital role in promoting safe and responsible tourism by committing to take care of each other, our beautiful outdoors and local businesses.”
Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Edwin Poots, added: “Northern Ireland has wonderful landscapes for all to enjoy, from our mountains to our seas and from our forests to our beaches. Our landscapes support local foods and local businesses and play a vital role in our tourism and for our communities health and wellbeing. We all must play our part in looking after these assets. Taking part in the visitor pledge will help to support local businesses and will help ensure that our environment remains clean, safe and vibrant for all users.”
Director of Marketing at Tourism Northern Ireland Naomi Waite commented: “The launch of the visitor pledge will help to boost consumer confidence by setting out simple steps that we can all take together to make a difference. Whether it is social distancing, cleaning up litter after enjoying the outdoors or shopping local, I encourage all residents to take the pledge to support local businesses and our local environment.
“This has been a challenging time for the tourism industry in Northern Ireland, but our local businesses, our unique tourism and experience providers are ready to offer their giant welcome again. This is a fantastic way for people to show their support. It is important of all of us to play our part in protecting each other and embracing all that Northern Ireland has to offer in a safe way.”
The website asks visitors to sign their name online to take the pledge and share with friends and family via their social media channels.
To learn more about the visitor pledge and to sign up, or download assets visit https://discovernorthernireland.com/giantdifference
A Step Back in Time at Crumlin Road Gaol
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has visited the five-star tourist attraction at Crumlin Road Gaol Visitor Attraction and Conference Centre which reopened to visitors last month.
The Minister was given a tour of the historic Gaol, Northern Ireland’s only remaining Victorian era prison, by Managing Director Phelim Devlin.
Speaking afterwards the Minister said: “I am delighted to be here to experience at first-hand the fascinating insight into more than 150 years of history and see it brought to life with the latest technology, amazing figures, furnished cells, films, sound effects and exhibitions. I also had the opportunity to hear of future plans to enhance the visitor experience further.
“Crumlin Road Gaol has experienced a protracted period of closure due to Covid pandemic restrictions but it is pleasing and reassuring to see the measures which have been put in place to ensure a safe and enjoyable return for visitors.
“I would encourage everyone to visit the Gaol for a tour of this historic building and with all the new exhibits now on offer I can highly recommend a return visit to those of you who, like me, have visited in the past. The experience is both captivating and educational with something for all ages to enjoy.”
Managing Director of the Gaol, Phelim Devlin commented: “We were delighted to have the Minister visit the facility. During lockdown we took the opportunity to improve the historic tour and to introduce a more hands on visitor experience. We are thrilled to have been able to re-open our doors again and welcome visitors to the site.”
The Walled City of Derry Makes Shortlist for Leading Emerging Tourism Destination
Derry~Londonderry has made the shortlist for Europe’s Leading Emerging Tourism Destination 2021 at The World Travel Awards; a prestigious global tourism awards programme nicknamed the Oscar’s of Travel. The Walled City of Derry is one of eight finalists in with a chance of scooping the big prize and is competing alongside other emerging city destinations across Europe.
Renowned as one of the finest examples of a Walled City in Europe and the primary destination for cultural and heritage experiences on the island, Derry is a worthy nominee and needs your votes to help scoop the top spot.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Graham Warke, commented: “We are delighted to be nominated for this award. We know our historic and dynamic city is unique and deserves to be recognised on a worldwide stage. Tourism is a key economic driver for the region, and we are thrilled it has been recognised as a rising destination in Europe. It is a major boost for the local tourism industry and provides great publicity for the city region and Northern Ireland.”
Odhran Dunne, Chief Executive of Visit Derry continued: “We are delighted Derry has been nominated for Europe’s Leading Emerging Tourism Destination. Being a finalist in this prestigious award, puts us on a world stage as we begin to emerge from the covid crises and rebuild tourism. It strengthens our international appeal and rewards the commitment of all players in our local industry to position the city region as a must-visit destination. We have all the ingredients of a standout destination, centred on our historic City Walls, heritage, renowned lively cultural and events scene and strategic geographic location to be nominated for the award is fantastic. We look forward to the global industry and travel consumers recognising our emerging potential and giving us their vote!”
International voting is now open, and the winner will be the finalist who gains the most votes. To vote for Derry as Europe’s Leading Emerging Tourism Destination, visit www.visitderry.com/vote. Voting closes on 14th July 2021.