‘South Down needs agreed tourism strategy’ – Hazzard

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Wednesday, November 11th, 2015
Politics
Sinn Féin MLA Chris Hazzard has said that the potential of tourism to the economy of South Down can be maximised if there is an agreed strategy in place. hazzard6Speaking after meeting with Stephen Bill, Regional Manager Tourism NI and Mark Mohan, Tourism Initiatives Manager with Newry Mourne and Down District Council Hazzard said, “I am satisfied that a strategy is being developed directed towards the unrealised potential of tourism in Co. Down. “Around 700 coaches per year visited the St. Patrick’s Centre in Downpatrick yet few stayed overnight as it is estimated that 85% of visitors to Co. Down are day trippers. While there have been many improvements in the last decade we need to build upon our successes and encourage more long stay tourists,” he insisted. “It is essential that we package the entire tourist product of South Down as one, which includes the natural beauty of the Mournes, our beaches, St Patrick and local history. I am also happy that there is to be a much greater focus on developing links with Fáilte Ireland and the east coast, which benefits from huge visitor numbers. “The ferry crossing and the proposed bridge at Narrow Water would also contribute to opening up the entire South Down area for tourism and business. The creation of these transport links would benefit the entire region, north and south, in terms of economic regeneration.” Hazzard added, “I look forward to the Tourism NI consultation paper, which is soon to be circulated, proposing a strategy in line with the specific needs of South Down.”

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