‘Staging of Irish Open in County Down will allow area to show off potential’ – Ritchie

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Friday, February 21st, 2014
SDLP MP Margaret Ritchie has welcomed the news that the Irish Open will come to South Down with the announcement that it will be staged in the Royal County Down in 2015 for the first time in 75 years. “The news that the Irish Open is coming to South Down will allow the area to maximize its potential for tourism,” she told Newry Times. “The Royal County Down has already shown off its potential with the staging of the Senior British Open and the Walker Cup so I am confident that they will host a great event. I would like to congratulate all of those involved in the process of securing the event. “The Irish Open will allow South Down to showcase our tourism potential to a national and international audience. It is great news for the local hospitality industry, traders and retailers. I am also confident that local tourism providers will also be able to maximize the potential of so many new visitors to the area. “I am hopeful that the NI Executive will provide a similar amount of funding to the £1.5m they provided to the Irish Open when it was held in Portrush. Ritchie added, “It is also evident to me that a reduction in the tourism VAT rate to that of the Republic of Ireland would also have a hugely positive impact and allow local businesses and the hospitality industry to maximize the potential presented and help to support the local economy.”
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