Ray of sunshine for NI tourism

Published Monday, 28 May 2012
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Mediterranean temperatures at the weekend have provided a ray of sunshine for Northern Ireland's seaside resorts that have suffered in the downturn.

Ray of sunshine for NI tourism
The recent heatwave has given seaside resorts a boost. (© UTV)

Thousands flocked to the coast to enjoy a long overdue heatwave with temperatures hotter than Greece and even Tunisia.

On Saturday at Magilligan in Co Londonderry, the Met Office thermometer climbed to more than 25C.

And on Sunday, St Angelo in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, was the hot-spot at just under 25C.

For the month of May, the warm temperatures in NI have been the hottest since 1997 - and it comes after the wettest April in living memory.

Seaside resorts across the region have been thronged.

Now the weather has started to generate some heat for the local tourist economy.

"We haven't got a lot here except tourism," Coleraine Borough councillor Norman Hillis told UTV.

"So we're really embracing it and I think that anyone that comes here is saying it's a wonderful spot, lovely scenery, lovely beaches and the weather is the cream on the cake."

Newcastle was another favourite destination for sun-worshippers over the weekend, with thousands descending on the Co Down coast and some even taking a dip in the water.

"It's absolutely fantastic," one man told UTV.

"It's great to stay in your own country and you don't have to go away when the weather is like this."

Another woman said: "It's fabulous and I hope it lasts so everybody comes to Newcastle!"

But the bad news is that the coming days will see temperatures start to drop.

It is going to get cloudier and we may even see a little rain so the message is - enjoy the sun while it lasts.

© UTV News
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