Launch of new marketing initiative for the Mournes and Carlingford Lough

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Thursday, March 14th, 2013
A new website – – and Facebook site to promote the Mournes and Carlingford Lough was launched on Thursday 7th March in Warrenpoint. There has been no overarching website promoting the Mournes from Armagh Down closed in 2009. The Mayor, John McArdle welcomed everyone and stated that the Mournes were on a par with Lake Garda and should attract a similar number of visitors. These marketing activities will assist in the promotion of the area, as to date the Mournes has fallen behind the Titanic, Giants Causeway and Derry/ Londonderry City of Culture. This website has been created by the local tourism businesses for the promotion of local tourism businesses. The Mourne Coastal Tourism Forum was formed as a result of a public meeting hosted by Karen McKevitt MLA in response to the local tourism providers frustration at the lack of marketing of the region. The Mourne Coastal Tourism Forum is made up of local tourism businesses who have worked on a voluntary basis with no financial support. In addition to the website they are participating in Tourism Ireland’s Gathering Campaign which encourages people to come home to trace their ancestors. Tommy Sands, legendary local musician and song writer, has agreed to act as their Ambassador for the area. The committee have produced a set of postcards that Tommy has taken with him on his tour of America in March to promote the local area. These are also available at local Tourist Information Centres for anyone who would like to invite family or friends back home in 2013. Tommy Sands has also starred in a short film welcoming visitors to Co Down and also including footage of the Mountains. He has given permission to use the Song “Come on Home to the Co Down”. The film was created by local SRC Student Paula Millar. The new logo by Dr Paul Hamilton was designed using SRC’s new i3 programme where they offer local businesses free IT support. The Mourne Coastal Tourism Forum are also launching a “Short Story Competition” with the theme “Legend Has it”. There are 3 categories, Primary School, Secondary School and Adult. There will be prizes for 1st and 2nd in each Category. Please submit no more than 250 words with either a picture or illustration to: Mourne Coastal Tourism Forum c/o Kilkeel Tourist Information Centre, Rooney Road, Kilkeel, BT34 4AG or Email: Tel: 028 4176 2525 Closing date for entries is 5pm 28th March. Pamela Houston, Chairperson expressed her thanks to committee for all their voluntary work and stated that it goes to show what can be achieved by people who live in and love the area, for the benefit of the local area. She made an appeal for additional information and events to add to it. Membership has been set at £10 per annum for a basic listing and £20 per annum for an enhanced listing. The money raised will all be used to cover the cost of hosting the website and additional marketing activities. She thanked Newry & Mourne District Council for hosting the event and producing the postcards for the Forum. She thanked MLA Karen McKevitt and her office for all their help and support. Karen McKevitt MLA was full of praise for the Mournes Coastal Tourism Forum at Thursday’s event. She said, “It is amazing what ripples can transpire from a single stone being dropped into sea. Last June my office set out to bring local businesses together to take ownership of our tourism industry. “The Mournes Coastal Tourism Forum has already exceeded my expectations, having implemented great initiatives to promote the area with more planned for the future.  I would like to praise the Forum, who work to promote our beautiful area on a voluntary basis, for all their efforts and I encourage all local businesses to get involved and become a member.
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