Tourism spend by southern visitors to NI was up 151%….

The Belfast Telegraph reports on the boost to NI Tourism by increasing visitors from the South:

Tourism NI said it had found major growth in expenditure after analysing cardholder spend by people visiting from over the border.

During June to September, total tourism spend by southerners was up 151% on the same time in 2019, while hotel spending using cards was up by the same level.

And spending by southern visitors in bars and taverns had tripled, Tourism NI said, while cardholder spend in hotel bars was up 152%.

This is good news for our hospitality industry. I have always believed that NI has great potential as a tourist destination. We do have an issue in that we don’t have the same level of tourism infrastructure as the South, but we are getting better.

The reason for the increase was more people holidaying in Ireland as they could not go abroad. Also, the more liberal restrictions in NI during the pandemic helped a lot. I know in the Autumn Belfast was full of visitors from the South. Mind you, you do wonder about the sense of having completely different pandemic rules on a small island but there you go.