Archive for the 'Latest News' Category

Foster welcomes tourism boost for Castlerock and Whiterocks

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Enterprise, Trade & Investment Minister, Arlene Foster, today officially announced the completion of new environmental improvement works to Castlerock promenade and Whiterocks coastal park.

The infrastructure improvements form part of an overarching regeneration scheme in Portrush and its surrounding area.

Speaking at today’s launch in Portrush, Arlene Foster said: “Castlerock and Whiterocks are important initiatives in promoting sustainable tourism for the North Coast area and will help to create a legacy that will bring longer-term benefits in terms of our tourism economy and job creation.

“The progression of anchor visitor attractions and coastal resorts is fundamental to the future development of Portrush and the world famous Causeway Coastal Route, and the continuing work to improve amenities exemplified by this regeneration is a very welcome boost for tourism.

“Not only will this strengthen and enhance the visitor experience but also encourage more people to come in greater numbers and entice them to return in the future.”

Tourism NI’s Tourism Development Scheme supported the project to the sum of £478,400 together with finance of £430,362 from the North East Region Rural Development Programme administered by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development through the European Regional Development Fund. Coleraine Borough Council contributed £90,000 of additional support.

Mayor of Coleraine, Cllr George Duddy added: “This is one of my last official engagements as the Mayor of Coleraine. I am pleased to say that the efforts of Coleraine Borough Council, over the past number of years, towards regeneration and investment in our tourism infrastructure has put us in good stead. The Causeway Coast is famous for its unrivalled scenery and beautiful beaches continue to attract visitors from all over the world. I have no doubt that the work at both Castlerock and Whiterocks will add to the visitor experience, and improve the quality of the already renowned Causeway Coast Car Touring Route and the Ulster Way.”

Works at Castlerock include the development of a new promenade, a reconfiguration of the car park and easier access to the beach through the creation of three boardwalks, all designed to reflect the character of the village and its coastal location.

At Whiterocks, improved beach access with dune system and boardwalks together with a new car park and an extension to a visitor amenity building to benefit water sport users have been tastefully completed. The addition of a wooden bridge to span a small gorge has taken a significant section of the Causeway Coast/Ulster Way off the main A2 road offering ramblers and walkers stunning views of Dunluce Castle, Curran Strand and Portrush.

2016 will be Northern Ireland’s Year of Food

Friday, March 6th, 2015

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster today served up a new initiative aimed at giving more tourists an appetite to visit Northern Ireland.

Announcing that next year, 2016, will be Northern Ireland’s Year of Food, the Minister called on everyone to get involved in giving visitors a taste of what makes our local menus so special.

Speaking at the Tourism Northern Ireland annual conference, Arlene Foster said: “We have some of the best food and the best restaurants in the world, and the potential this has when it comes to tourism cannot be underestimated. Food tourism already generates over £350million per year to the local economy, but I believe there is significant room for further growth. That’s why I have asked Tourism Northern Ireland to begin preparatory work to develop the Year of Food initiative and have secured funding to allow them to do so.

“We know how good our food is, which is probably why we enjoy eating out so much, the recent Barclaycard report showing Northern Ireland people spend more on eating out than the rest of the UK is proof of that. Now it’s time to build on our growing reputation for excellence and give visitors even more mouth watering reasons to come here.”

In the lead up to and during 2016, there will be a series of packaged events aimed at tempting the taste buds of potential visitors.

Arlene Foster added: “We have a great story to tell, and this is a very exciting opportunity to really celebrate our food sector.

“We boast some world-class produce, not to mention talented chefs, restaurants, skilled cookery schools and a rich food heritage, all of which is becoming better known, especially in GB, which is our key market. The Year of Food will enable us to continue to raise our profile nationally and to promote Northern Ireland food tourism on the international stage.

“As well as specific events, the Year of Food will see support for industry through master classes and mentoring programmes, the development of new food experiences and trails, and development of a toolkit to enable a wide range of people across Northern Ireland to get involved in promoting their produce and their area.

“Many tourists already say that good quality food and dining is a key factor when choosing Northern Ireland for a short break, and I have no doubt that 2016 and the Year of Food will entice even more visitors to do so.”