The Programme for Government 2011-2015 identifies the actions the Northern Ireland Executive will take to deliver its number one priority – a vibrant economy which can transform our society. Challenging targets for tourism to 2014 have been set in the Programme for Government to increase visitor numbers to 4.2 million and grow tourist revenue to £676million by December 2014.
A key building block within the Programme for Government is the Northern Ireland Economic Strategy which outlines a vision for the economy as one that is “characterised by a sustainable and growing private sector, where a greater number of firms compete in global markets and there is growing employment and prosperity for all”.
Key priorities are aimed at rebalancing the economy to improve the wealth, employment and living standards of everyone in NI. Alongside this, there are a number of immediate and complementary actions aimed at rebuilding the economy to address the impact of the global economic downturn, particularly on employment.
Tourism has the potential to contribute one billion pounds to the economy by 2020. It is a key driver of our economy and as such is firmly embedded within the Economic Strategy and the Programme for Government. Tourism will contribute to a number of the strategic themes identified under the Economic Strategy including: competing in the global economy; encouraging business growth; and developing our economic infrastructure.
The Economic Strategy will be central to the delivery of the Executive’s overall strategic aim of an economy which increases wealth and employment opportunities for all and tourism will play its part. Tourism supports over 40,000 jobs. It brings new facilities to our towns and cities, creates opportunities in rural areas and is a source of pride for local people. Income created by the visitor economy directly benefits the region. Tourism is sustainable in times of recession and it is not an industry that can move offshore and it has the potential to create new jobs - especially for young people.
Programme for Government: DETI Tourism Commitments
PfG Commitment 6
Increase visitor numbers to 4.2 million & tourist revenue to £676m by December 2014.
PfG Commitment 18
Provide financial and other support across government to ensure the success of the ni 2012 Our Time Our Place Initiative.
PfG Commitment 65
Support the successful hosting of the 2012 Irish Open and build on that success to secure a further international golf event.
Review of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and Wider Tourism Structures
The DETI Minister announced a review of the NITB and wider tourism structures on 14 November 2013.
The review will examine the NITB’s functions and the role of the organisation in delivering the targets and actions that are set out in the Programme for Government and the Economic Strategy. It will also ensure that appropriate structures are in place to deliver the objectives and targets for tourism and ensure alignment with the work of Invest Northern Ireland.
It is anticipated that the review will be completed by the end of March 2014. The Terms of Reference for the review can be viewed by clicking HERE