Industry representatives from the Northern Ireland Tourism Alliance met the Economy Minister today to agree the need for a co-ordinated strategy to manage impacts from Coronavirus and the Flybe closure.
NITA have already announced a members’ summit on Tuesday 10th March, but gave the Minister a comprehensive analysis of the immediate impacts being felt by their members and outlined proactive areas of action that should be rolled out as events progress.
Speaking after the meeting NITA Chief Executive Dr Joanne Stuart said,
“We appreciate that we are facing serious challenges but tourism, a £1bn contributor to the economy employing over 65,000 people, has a strong and resilient private sector and is determined to meet these head on.
“However, we know we cannot do it alone and we are pleased that the Minister has directed we have daily contact with the departmental team leading on the economic impact for the Economy, to ensure there is an immediate and up to date exchange of information and direction of actions.
“We are delighted to see that Loganair is to take over 16 of the Flybe routes, two of which are from Belfast City to Aberdeen and Inverness.”
The Minister acknowledged the vital importance of the Tourism industry to the whole (Northern Ireland) economy and she told the NI Tourism Alliance that the government had strong ambitions to grow the industry and wanted it to be the best that it can be. She also conveyed a strong message of reassurance to the industry and the public and both parties look forward to a very constructive working partnership.