Making the Most of Northern Ireland’s Tourist Potential (PDF )
Publish Date: 12 February 2015
The Democratic Unionist Party’s priorities for Northern Ireland’s tourism industry.
Tourism is a key economic driver in Northern Ireland. It accounts for up to 60,000 jobs and contributes £860m in Gross Value Added to the economy annually. However, tourism accounts for only 4.99 of the GDP in Northern Ireland, almost half of the UK average of 9% despite the huge tourist potential that Northern Ireland has to offer.
The DUP believes a number of steps need to be taken in order for the tourism sector to become a stronger, more sustainable driver of economic growth in Northern Ireland. We believe that the sector can grow to £1bn in tourism spend and 4.5 million visitors by 2020.
- Support for the expansion of Heathrow, provided that current slots between Belfast and Heathrow can be maintained or increased.
- Continued support for DETI to work with Belfast International Airport to attract new long-haul flights to Northern Ireland.
- A call for the Government at Westminster to scrap Air Passenger Duty.
- Setting up an Air Route Development Fund for key strategic routes in Europe to help develop new routes between Northern Ireland and the European regions.
- Support for the examination of alternative finance to the hotel sector where banks are not providing access for developments.
- Call for a VAT reduction for the hospitality sector.