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Tourism spend in Northern Ireland continues to rise - Foster

Overseas visitors spent an estimated 368million during 2011, an increase of 20% compared with the previous year.
Thursday, 12 April 2012

In addition. 1.5 million overseas visitors spent at least one night in Northern Ireland, up 4% on 2010.

Welcoming the increasing spend by overseas visitors, Tourism Minister, Arlene Foster said: “These figures prove that overseas visitors want to come to see all that Northern Ireland has to offer and when they do come they spend money and help boost the economy.

“It is really encouraging to see that so many tourists visited Northern Ireland last year and bodes well for 2012 when there is a jam-packed programme of exciting events and openings taking place. The stunning Titanic Belfast opened a few weeks ago and sold out in the first two weeks.

“Overseas visitors and local people can now look forward to the Irish Open in Portrush, the opening of the new Giant’s Causeway visitors centre as well as many other events taking place across Northern Ireland. From the International Beckett festival in Fermanagh, through to the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in Londonderry, there will be something for everyone to enjoy.

“Next year too promises to be another amazing year with Londonderry taking pride of place as the UK City of Culture and the World Police and Fire Games.

“This is our place and our time to showcase Northern Ireland.”

The figures were published by the Department of Trade, Enterprise and Investment and include statistics on overseas visitors and estimates of domestic trips taken during January and December 2011.

Concluding, Arlene Foster said: “Local people also contribute significantly to tourism spend within Northern Ireland. During 2011, an estimated 1.9 million overnight trips where taken by local residents within Northern Ireland with an expenditure of around £171million during 2011. In addition, Northern Ireland residents took an estimated 6.4 million leisure day trips within the country, spending an estimated £133million.

“Last year, some 1,968,000 hotel, guesthouse and bed and breakfast rooms were sold, a rise of 4% when compared with 2010.

“Over the next few years, I am confident that Northern Ireland will continue to become a must-see destination for people from all over the world. The benefits for the local economy and our own sense of pride are enormous and we should all be proud of our place.”

Notes to editors:

  1. The Statistics Bulletin ‘Tourism Performance Estimates Northern Ireland 2011’ can be viewed on the DETI website.
  2. For media enquiries please contact DETI Press Office on tel: 028 9052 9604. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.