Praise for tourism figures

Varied attractions include sites made famous through Game of Thrones
Varied attractions include sites made famous through Game of Thrones

Visitor numbers for Northern Ireland rose to 4.5million last year as revenues reached £751 million - a rise of 11 per cent in visitor numbers and four per cent in expenditure on the year before.

The figures released by the Northern Ireland Statistical Research Agency (NISRA) include a 38 per cent rise in visitors from North America and a 12 per cent rise in visitors from GB.

Welcoming the rise in numbrs and revenues, Tourism Minister Jonathan Bell paid tribute to those behind the growing success of the sector.

“These figures show we are making real progress on tourism,” he said.

“Last year had many successful events with the undoubted highlight being the Giro d’Italia which captured everyone’s imagination.

“We are continuing to actively promote tourism in 2015 with this week’s Irish Open shaping up to be a fantastic event with one of the strongest fields ever.

“After this we still have much to look forward to including the return of the Tall Ships to Belfast, the Giro d’Italia Gran Fondo and BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

“I congratulate the industry and our tourism bodies on a successful 2014 and I am committed to working closely for continued future success.”