‘Huge’ overseas interest in NI tourism post-Covid

There is “huge interest” from overseas travel businesses in Northern Ireland for next summer as “we all emerge from the global pandemic”, the chief executive of Tourism NI has said.

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 5:08 am
Updated Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 7:03 am

John McGrillen was speaking ahead of a three-day event for overseas tour operators to meet, virtually, with local businesses in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

“There continues to be huge interest from international tour operators in programming Northern Ireland from 2022 as we all emerge from the global pandemic,” Mr McGrillen said.

“It is absolutely crucial that we build on the momentum created by a decade of investment and growth in our tourism industry. As the sector begins to reopen we are ready to welcome our visitors back and are conscious of the many jobs and livelihoods that are now dependent on the tourism industry.”

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He added: “We cannot afford to fall behind the competition.”

Meanwhile, overseas flights have resumed at George Best Belfast City Airport.

The airport has also opened a new testing facility offering both PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and lateral flow coronavirus tests.

Airport operations manager, Judith Davis, explained: “Flights have resumed today from Belfast City to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport with our airline partner KLM, which is another positive step as airlines across the world rebuild and restart their networks.”

She added: “Currently the Dutch government requires all passengers entering the Netherlands to have taken and returned a negative result from both a PCR and an antigen (lateral flow) test. Providing this service on-site is the ultimate convenience for our passengers.”