Tourism Minister Arlene Foster today launched the new look MV Kestrel waterbus on Lough Erne.
The pleasure cruiser, owned by Erne Tours, has been rebranded using the ni2012 Our Time Our Place identity developed by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB).
Welcoming the commitment of Stephen Nixon, Managing Director of Erne Tours, to the NITB marketing campaign, the Minister said: “As a result of Stephen’s enterprise and investment in tourism , this colourful, eye-catching brand will now be visible on these magnificent lakes. It’s certainly the most spectacular way for visitors to enjoy all that Lough Erne has to offer.
“The ni2012 branding has been developed to send the strongest possible message thatNorthern Irelandis firmly focused on the future and that the Northern Ireland Executive is determined to create the opportunities which will benefit everyone.
“As she cruises the lakes, the MV Kestrel will surely be one of the most striking symbols of our ni2012 campaign.”
The Minister told other guests at the launch in Enniskillen that she is determined to ensure that benefits, likely to flow from the substantial investment in tourism are shared acrossNorthern Ireland.
“Challenging commitments have been set in the NI Executive’s Programme for Government to grow the tourism economy. From our consultation with the industry on a strategy for tourism, Fermanagh has been identified as one of nine key Tourism Destinations. I want to stimulate the greater engagement of the local tourism sector and local people and create the conditions needed to meet our PfG commitments and draw many more visitors to Fermanagh and other regions in Northern Ireland.
“We will need everyone in Fermanagh to pull together to ensure that Fermanagh and Northern Ireland as a whole really does achieve its massive potential as a truly global tourism destination.
“If we get it right – and I am confident that we can and will do – tourism has the potential to contribute £1 billion toNorthern Ireland’s economy by 2020, doubling the contribution it makes today, attracting 4.5 million visitors, up from 3.5 million today, and creating thousands of new jobs acrossNorthern Ireland.”