Lough Neagh Partnership has been appointed by Mid Ulster District Council to spearhead a new initiative aimed at fostering the development and growth of tourism experiences in the Mid Ulster area. This new project will showcase everything that is unique about the area, especially its people and their stories, family history, cultural traditions and invaluable skills. In partnership with Mid Ulster District Council and working with Tourism NI, the organisation is calling for people that have an authentic experience that they would love to develop, to express their interest in the programme. From food producers to farmers, storytellers to fishermen, craft providers to activity providers – anyone with an experiential idea that could be developed to attract local, national and international visitors, should apply.
The project is open to everyone with an interest in tourism – those new to tourism and those with existing tourist focused businesses or hobbies.
The vision is that the project will create high quality authentic tourism experiences by recruiting potential participants who may be suitable for developing a bespoke experience or which might be suited to a collaborative approach with other businesses. The multi-faceted approach, includes identifying and engaging with the right businesses, providing mentorship, conducting market research and crafting an action plan aligning to Tourism NI’s Embrace a Giant Spirit and Visit Mid Ulster, Unwinding Time.
Eimear Kearney, Marketing Manager, Lough Neagh Partnership, said: “Lough Neagh Partnership is perfectly positioned to assist this project to establish a new tourism experience for the Mid Ulster area. We are committed to sustainable development, environmental conservation, community engagement and we are dedicated to preserving the natural and cultural heritage of Mid Ulster while considering new ways to encourage visitors to the region.”
A rigorous review process will determine successful applicants who will enhance the development of these high quality and authentic local tourism experiences. Lough Neagh Partnership already works with a range of businesses and represents the Lough Neagh Artisans. Its experience in marketing intelligence, research and support is unparalleled in delivering tourism projects for local businesses, including the provision of unique visitor experiences with Lough Neagh Tours.
“Businesses and individuals with viable ideas will be guided through the process by the mentor and we are excited to see what hidden gems are located in and around the area just waiting to be discovered. The programme aims to stimulate ideas and will include advice and guidance on bringing new tourism experiences to fruition”, added Eimear.
Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Cllr Dominic Molloy, said: “Mid Ulster District Council has a strong tourism product offering and we are keen to further develop and enhance visitor experiences across the district. This project will help to strengthen existing experiences, and identify new visitor experiences, that will lead to a more immersive and quality time for the visitor. All of which can be aligned to Tourism NI’s “Embrace A Giant Spirit” brand experiences.”
Expressions of interest must be completed by 6 October 2023 and it is anticipated that, following a pilot, the successful experiences will be launched in March 2024. For anyone interested in seeking more information about the assistance this project will provide, please visit https://loughneaghpartnership.org/mid-ulster-tourism-experiences/