Giro and Open to boost tourism industry

Giro and Open to boost tourism industry

The staging of major events in Northern Ireland such as the upcoming Giro d'Italia and golf's Irish Open could boost income from tourism by up to a third according to a report by Barclays.

The research, independently commissioned by the bank, says that spending from foreign tourists is predicted to reach £314m by 2017.That would be an increase of 33% on the £236m spent in 2013.As well as this month's Giro d'Italia, Northern Ireland will host the Irish Open twice in the next three years.Adrian Doran, for Barclays in Northern Ireland, said: "Major sporting events in the next few years will undoubtedly attract additional overseas visitors to Northern Ireland, with Belfast hosting the opening stages of the Giro d'Italia this month, and the Irish Open coming to Royal County Down in 2015 and Lough Erne in 2017."In addition, Northern Ireland's growing reputation within the film and TV industry, and the incredible popularity of the Titanic Visitor Centre will further help to bolster tourism and contribute to predictions for an increase in spending by overseas tourists."Spending on accommodation is expected to top almost £70m by 2017 with the majority of visitors coming from the Republic of Ireland.Mr Doran added: "We are already seeing new planning applications being submitted and approved which reflects increasing confidence in this high growth sector."Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster said the research was very encouraging.She added: "We are also benefitting from the heightened profile provided by television and film companies increasingly choosing Northern Ireland as a backdrop for their productions, with HBO's smash hit series Game of Thrones currently the subject of a global tourism marketing campaign."I am confident our tourism industry can look toward a bright future," the DUP minister said.CHAR(13) + CHAR(10)


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