Posted 23 Sep, 2020

‘The crisis facing the tourism industry from Covid-19 and the prospect of more restrictions over the coming weeks cannot be underestimated’.

This was the message that Brenda Morgan MBE, Chair of the NI Tourism Alliance, gave to attendees at the organisation’s second AGM, which was held as a hybrid event in partnership with ICC Belfast.

Speaking to attendees about the last two months, she said

‘On a positive note we have seen how creative the Tourism industry have been - with many businesses diversifying their product to survive, showing resilience as they have reshaped their business and their determination to bounce back. With increased collaboration and clear communication, it is essential that we continue to build on what are now strong, effective working relationships - this will be the key to making the industry rebound successfully once again’

Attendees heard from the Minister for the Economy, Diane Dodds, Neil Gibson Chief Economist EY Ireland and the heads of Tourism NI and Tourism Ireland.

Minister Dodds paid credit to the industry on ‘how businesses in the sector have shown flexibility and resilience throughout this crisis’

She said ‘Visitor attractions, hospitality businesses and accommodation providers have taken a positive and proactive approach in putting in place measures to mitigate the risk of the virus spreading in their premises, and these steps have been crucial in helping reassure the public.’

In closing, Brenda Morgan told attendees

‘Last week we published ‘Scale of the Crisis Facing Tourism’ setting out the actions that need to be taken urgently, the economic impact of Covid-19, both during lockdown and since opening, and the reasons Tourism is so important to the recovery of the NI economy.

Time is not on our side and it is critical that the NI Executive recognise the crisis our industry is in and move quickly to make the decisions essential to the survival of tourism in Northern Ireland.

“We now need to ensure that Government funding is allocated without delay so that right initiatives and interventions can be developed and implemented to help the industry through these next difficult months.”

You can watch back the AGM HERE. The event starts 13 minutes in.

Left to right - Julia Corkey CEO ICC Belfast, John McGrillen CEO Tourism NI, Minister for the Economy Diane Dodds, Judith Owens CEO Titanic Belfast (NITA board members) and Brenda Morgan MBE Chair NITA

Minister for the Economy Diane Dodds with Joanne Stuart OBE, CEO NITA