NITA welcomes Dodds' date for Tourism

Posted 15 Jun, 2020

Today, NITA warmly welcomes the announcement for the earlier reopening of the tourism visitor economy by Economy Minster Diane Dodds as part of the easing of the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

The tourism body, which is recognised as the voice of tourism in Northern Ireland, has been calling for a for coordinated and consistent approach across the tourism industry, and has asked for special consideration for be given to self-contained premises such as self-catering accommodation and caravan parks.

Dr Joanne Stuart OBE, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Tourism Alliance commented, “We are delighted to welcome the earlier re-opening date announced by Minister Dodds and the Executive. Tourism is a key economic driver for Northern Ireland, and although at the forefront of the catastrophic economic impact of COVID-19, the industry is keen to play its role in the region’s economic recovery. The announcement of the earlier opening date for the majority of the tourism industry, will not only enable businesses to regain some trade during the high season, provide a basis for recovery and protect jobs but also enable locals to holiday at home this summer, with confidence.”

She continued, “Although there is still work to be done, we will continue to engage on behalf of the industry as part of both the Tourism Recovery Steering and Working Group to ensure timely re-opening guidance, lobby on key such as social distancing and its impact on commercial viability, a timeline for mass gatherings and events, and ensure Northern Ireland is promoted locally and nationally as the ideal holiday destination.”

The key dates agreed today by the Executive are:

  • Caravan parks, camping sites and self-catering tourist accommodation can re-open on 26 June;
  • Other tourist accommodation can re-open from 3 July;
  • Additional sectors of the tourism and hospitality industry can re-open from 3 July – this includes restaurants, cafes and coffee shops;
  • Public houses and bars will also be permitted to re-open from 3 July for the purposes of selling food and alcohol on a table service basis. Public houses and bars with outside spaces, such as beer gardens, will be able to use these spaces to serve alcohol on a table service basis;
  • These relaxations also apply to hotel restaurants, bars and outdoor areas. However, spas and leisure facilities at hotels will not be permitted to open at this stage.
  • Visitor attractions can also open from 3 July.

The dates are conditional on controlling the rate of transmission of Covid-19 and social distancing measures will remain in place.

The Northern Ireland Tourism Alliance is the voice for Tourism in Northern Ireland. Its membership spans across transport (road, air, sea), tourist attractions, accommodation, food and drink providers, conference centres, destination marketing organisations, local authorities, education and skills providers, tour guides and travel agents. For more information, visit