People across Northern Ireland are being urged to get behind and be part of a campaign aimed at enjoying a short break at home across the summer and into the autumn.
On Friday 3rd July, the reset button will be pressed as hotels, bars and restaurants open their doors to the public for the first time since the lockdown began.
Ahead of the re-opening, Tourism NI has launched its Recovery Marketing Campaign in Northern Ireland as it seeks to inspire people to enjoy a staycation at home, in a destination which attracts tourists from around the globe each year.
The campaign will remind people that you can have epic fun without the epic trek with so much to discover afresh locally. From the vibrant city buzz of Belfast and Derry~Londonderry to the stunning beauty of the Glens of Antrim and the North Coast to the Orchards of Armagh, the Lakes of Fermanagh and the rugged scenery of Tyrone, local ‘visitors’ are invited to embrace Northern Ireland’s giant spirit.
With a strong emphasis on supporting Northern Ireland’s tourism industry, Tourism NI has continued its partnership with the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation on a cooperative marketing fund and increased support to 75% of costs. The application process has been extended until the end of July to encourage businesses to join the campaign and market directly to potential ‘staycationers’ most inclined to travel in the short to medium term.
Tourism NI Chief Executive John McGrillen said: “We are encouraging local people to see Northern Ireland through the eyes of the millions of tourists who come here for the warmth of the welcome, world class food and drink, the beauty of the landscapes and the immersive experiences on offer.
“The tourism industry has suffered greatly from the effects of the lockdown and as we move into a period of recovery we are sending a very clear message that your favourite places, as well as those yet to be discovered, will benefit greatly from your support.
“The recovery campaign takes account of the fact that it will take time for our tourism sector to fully re-open. Our consumer research has also informed the tactics we will use, and when we will use them, to create the best prospects for immediate bookings. We will be rolling out a mix of digital, outdoor, radio, press and television advertising alongside PR and media visits starting now and running into the autumn.
“The next 6 months provides the perfect opportunity to explore all that is great about Northern Ireland. You can stay local while getting away from it all on new, immersive adventures and in doing so you will be supporting an industry that is vital to our economy and to everyone here.”
Considerable work has gone in to ensuring the safety of guests with new measures introduced so that the one-metre social distancing protocols can be observed without reducing the overall experience. New guidance from Tourism NI and the Department for the Economy on re-opening safely was released last week.
Tourism NI has also partnered with national tourist boards across the UK to implement a new industry standard and consumer mark, We’re Good to Go, to reassure customers that businesses have adopted the guidance.