Northern Ireland tourism has received a major boost with news that one of its leading figures has been appointed to a UK-wide board which advises Government policy on the industry.
Dr Joanne Stuart, CEO of the Northern Ireland Tourism Alliance will represent the industry here on the UK Tourism Industry Council.
The Council was set up two years ago to act as a sounding board and point of dialogue between Westminster and the industry.
Joanne Stuart, one of our most highly experienced and well-regarded business leaders’, says she will use the post to represent local economic needs to influence national tourism policy.
”Our priority as the NI Tourism Alliance is to ensure that UK policy makers understand the complexities of the tourism economy in Northern Ireland, particularly in regard to regional connectivity, Air Passenger Duty and the impact of the UK Immigration Policy which have just been published.’
The UK Tourism Industry Council worked with the UK government to develop the Tourism Sector Deal framework, a government led initiative launched last June which is set to be a game-changer for tourism making it one of the UK’s major industries for future economic planning.
Commenting on this, Joanne said
"Being on the Council provides the ideal opportunity to see how this framework can be utilised to develop a Tourism Sector Deal for Northern Ireland. Of particular interest are the development of Tourism Zones to support the growth of tourism in rural and coastal communities, being recognised as accessible destination and having a data hub to provide better information on visitor trends.
“Completing the sphere of influence for our local tourism industry, I am also a member of the Brexit Task Force and Central Marketing Group which are operated by Tourism Ireland, ensuring we have a total approach to global marketing.”
Dr Stuart will be Northern Ireland’s sole voice of industry on the board which is made up of leading figureheads drawn from across the tourism industry throughout the UK.
She adds: “This appointment puts us front and centre as a UK tourism economic voice and we will influence UK tourism policy and its impact on Northern Ireland.”