McGreevy: NITB and Departments fail to highlight Newry and Mourne

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Thursday, March 15th, 2012
In the Northern Ireland Tourism Board’s recently published ‘ni2012 Events Guide’ it has been discovered that Newry, Warrenpoint, Rostrevor and Kilkeel are not present on the tourist map appearing inside. In view of recent criticisms of the Tourism & Marketing services within the council, SDLP Councillor Connaire McGreevy suggested that this major oversight has proved to further aggravate the issue and is testament to concerns surrounding the tourism strategy (or lack thereof) currently in place. Speaking to Newry Times, McGreevy said, “I was absolutely shocked to see that Newry, Warrenpoint Rostrevor or Kilkeel are not on the map in the recently released ‘ni2012 Events Guide’. Despite the Northern Ireland Tourist Board’s aggressive ni2012 campaign which is now in full flow, it seems that our council area has been neglected.” McGreevy’s concerns were raised during the last full Council meeting after the ni2012 campaign inserted an events guide into every newspaper in Northern Ireland. McGreevy continued, “The Northern Ireland wide campaign, which aims to ‘confidently put Northern Ireland on the global tourism map’ and deems 2012 the ‘tipping point for Northern Ireland and a real chance to change perceptions’, is a golden opportunity for our local area to be broadcast to the world. These objectives in fact sound quite ironic as the NITB has clearly failed to get Newry, Warrenpoint, Rostrevor or Kilkeel anywhere near the map and it shows a disconnect between the Department responsible for tourism and our own District Development Department within council who are responsible.” He continued, “Oversights such as this threaten to cap the tourism value of Newry & Mourne and will severely undermine our sustainable development strategy if not addressed. I cannot understand why something as obvious as this was overlooked by the department. It represents a gross lack of coherency in terms of both vision and strategy and is extremely worrying.” “I fear for all of the struggling retailers and business owners in Newry & Mourne who work tirelessly to promote the area, and I can see this year being particularly tough given the competition from other regions which are more effectively engaging in the national tourism campaign,” he added.
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