On Friday morning I was joined by guests, Brona Moffett (head of experience and enterprise development at National Museums NI) and Michael Stewart (a local hospitality consultant of 35 years standing) for the latest episode of Slugger TV. Our conversation looked at how we can reset our tourism industry and help forge a recovery for the local economy.
Now with our town centres and attractions much quieter, we thought it would be a good moment to look at not just how the pandemic has impacted the sector but what could come next. If you are wondering why we are focusing on this sector, you might be interested to know that tourism is currently worth 4.9% of Northern Ireland’s GDP and sustains over 40,000 jobs.
Over the past two decades we have built a key part of our economy around tourism. This multi-million pound industry employs thousands of people and has taken a real battering since March due to the COVID19 pandemic. It seems like a long time since we had thousands of tourists from cruise ships and tour buses wandering up our streets.
If you would like to get involved in #TheReset with Ulster Bank either as an individual or as part of an organisation, please do get in touch by emailing us at [email protected] with an idea for inclusion in a range of articles or events throughout September and October.
David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs