Dr Joanne Stuart OBE, CEO of the Northern Ireland Tourism Alliance has been appointed to represent the industry on both the NI Tourism Recovery Steering Group and the UK Visitor Economy Group, which feeds into the UK Ministerial Taskforce.
These groups will be tasked with developing new COVID-19 secure guidelines for the reopening of public places and businesses, where and when it is safe to do so, and plan for the future.
Joanne Stuart, one of our most highly experienced and well-regarded business leaders, has been fundamental in lobbying for support for the tourism industry throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Her focus now will be on recovery and ensuring members’ views on the practicalities of coming out of lockdown and recovery are communicated.
“Tourism has been at the forefront of the catastrophic economic impact of Covid-19, as well as being first hit, it could take the longest time to fully recover. However, it has shown its resilience in the past and the Industry is ready to meet the challenges head on working alongside government. These groups are essential to plot the way forward in an informed and rational manner. A Tourism Recovery Support package will be required over the longer term as the industry progresses to reopen and rebuild and we look forward to working with the Minister to develop a resourced route map forward.”
She adds: “The appointment to the UK Visitor Economy Group ensures that we are front and centre and will represent local recovery needs to influence national tourism policy.”
Yet again, 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 and acts as a sounding board and point of dialogue between Westminster and the industry.”
The appointment follows Dr Joanne Stuart’s seat on the UK Tourism Industry Council where she works to ensure that UK policy makers understand the complexities of the tourism economy in Northern Ireland and advised and lobbied on issues including the impact of COVID-19 and the financial support needed, as well as issues such as regional connectivity, Air Passenger Duty, immigration and Brexit. She also sits on the UK Tourism Industry Emergency Response Group which has been working closely with the UK government on the measures required to support Tourism businesses through this unprecedented situation.