Border areas not receiving enough tourism funding says MLA

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Sunday, April 15th, 2012
MLA for Fermanagh and South Tyrone Phil Flanagan has claimed that although border areas account for a major portion of Northern Ireland’s tourism trade, they are receiving a fraction of the tourism funding available. With the Titanic events in Belfast drawing huge international attention, the MLA has said figures show Belfast was receiving the the majority of the cash investment. Mr Flanagan said, “Despite accounting for more than 25% of the north’s population, and more than 20% of the total tourist spend, the number of overseas visitors and the number of overnight stays, the border corridor only received 12% of the total capital expenditure from the Tourist Board and less than 15% of events funding.” He continued, “Unexpectedly, as with other areas of investment, the majority of the funding has been targeted at the Belfast City Council area, which received approximately 60% of the tourism total capital spend since 2006. This is in stark contrast to investment by NI Tourist Board for infrastructural development and events promotion in the tourism industry in the Border Region.” In conclusion the MLA said, “When promoting the tourism theme, Arlene Foster is constantly telling us that this is ‘Our Time, Our Place’ and ‘Our Year of Opportunity’, but judging from the figures these slogans up until now have only applied to Greater Belfast and parts of the North Coast. For the hospitality and tourist sector in most of the Border Region it seems that ‘Our Time, Place and Opportunity’ will have to come only from our own endeavours.”
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