Rostrevor gears up for mountain bike visitors
Over one hundred local businesses attended a Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) Industry Development Seminar last Thursday evening to hear how the local economy can benefit from the flagship mountain bike trails currently under construction in Kilbroney Forest Park.
Due to be launched in the Spring, this 26km network of sustainable mountain biking trails – which includes Ireland’s first purpose-built downhill trails – is expected to attract upwards of 15,000 visitors a year.
Speaking at the event, NITB Destination Manager, Stephen Bill explained,
“This seminar aims to empower the local private sector and encourage tourism businesses to embrace the trails as their own and make the area an attractive destination for activity enthusiasts from all over the UK and Ireland.”
Bill added, “The village of Rostrevor is already renowned for its warm and welcoming hospitality so if we couple this with tailored ‘mountain bike friendly’ facilities we can unlock Rostrevor’s potential as one of Northern Ireland’s top activity tourism destinations.”
Newry and Mourne District Mayor, Cllr John McArdle, opened Thursday night’s seminar by praising the hard work of all those involved in the project and encouraged local businesses to now pick up the reigns and complement the mountain bike trails with world class visitor facilities.
Speaking after the event, Mayor McArdle added, “We are very excited about the opportunities that the Rostrevor trails hold for our local accommodation providers, cafés, bars and restaurants.
“These trails will be a catalyst for tourism in this area and we are confident that the private sector will rise to the challenge of providing the highest quality visitor services to encourage bed nights and increase visitor spend in the local economy.”
The Rostrevor trails are one of four purpose-built trail centres currently under construction across N.Ireland and Chris Scott, Activity Tourism Manager for Outdoor Recreation NI believes it is now in the hands of local tourism providers to make Northern Ireland the next ‘must visit’ mountain biking destination in the UK and Ireland.
Mr Scott continued, “There is no doubt that Northern Ireland has the perfect landscape for mountain biking and soon we will also boast some of the finest trails in Europe. However it is important that we also offer ‘mountain bike friendly’ places to stay, eat, drink and relax.
“This is how we make Northern Ireland a truly great mountain biking destination and in turn reap the economic benefits offered by these flagship trails.”
Visit www.outdoorrecreationni.com for more information on each of the four trail centres currently under construction across Northern Ireland.
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