Alliance urges Tourist Board to promote Newcastle and Down District

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Tuesday, May 29th, 2012
Alliance Newcastle Councillor Patrick Clarke has called on the Northern Ireland Tourist Board to better promote Newcastle and Down District, and has asked the Chief Executive of Down District Council to write to the Northern Ireland Tourist Board to secure better media and public relations promotion of Newcastle and Down District as tourism destinations. Clarke was speaking during a panel discussion on ‘Beyond the Recession’ in the Burrendale Hotel Newcastle on Tuesday 22nd May which was organised as part of the Beyond business week of events by Down District Council. Elected representatives from the SDLP, UUP, DUP, Sinn Fein, Independent, and the MP for South Down, Invest NI, South Eastern Regional College and local businesses participated in the business week event. Clarke stated: “The recent panel discussion held in the Burrendale Hotel in Newcastle allowed local businesses to speak to their elected representatives on matters regarding the local economy, marketing and selling Down District, business support and finance, employment and skills, as well as business/regional development.” “It was clear during the panel discussion from a number of questions raised by the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce and local businesses that the issue of better marketing and tourism promotion of Newcastle as a tourist destination and Down District was a major issue not being properly addressed by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.” He continued, “With major widespread national and international media coverage and promotion of Belfast, Derry/Londonderry, the North Coast and Causeway Coast it seems that Newcastle as a seaside coastal resort that has seen a dramatic increase in tourists and visitor numbers has not featured prominently during any media promotion by the NITB in 2012.” “There can be no doubt that both Newcastle, with the many splendid natural attractions, as well as other locations in Down District has indeed a lot to offer international tourists and visitors coming to Northern Ireland. Yet the Northern Ireland Tourist Board has failed to expedite the process of better media marketing of Newcastle and Down District to the international tourist market similar to Belfast, Derry/Londonderry the Causeway Coast to name but a few locations.” Speaking about what the area has to offer, Clarke continued, “Newcastle and Down District has some of most picturesque natural locations, hospitality and tourist spots, not to mention the many highly acclaimed golf courses and forest parks. Yet the NITB have not delivered in terms of major media marketing and selling Down District on the same par as other parts of Northern Ireland. “I have therefore asked the Chief Executive of Down District Council who has agreed to write to the Northern Ireland Tourist Board to request a meeting to discuss better media and public relations promotion of Newcastle and Down District.” Clarke added, “Tourism is one of Down District’s best economic assets and I look forward to discussing with the Northern Ireland Tourist Board a better media and public relations package for Newcastle and Down District in order to increase tourism potential.”
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