North Antrim Sinn Fein MLA Daithi McKay has challenged the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Jonathan Bell, to outline Tourism NI’s plans to promote Ballycastle.
In a written answer, Minister Bell said: “Tourism NI’s remit is to promote Northern Ireland as a destination to the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland markets.
“Through a year round programme of promotional activity, Northern Ireland is promoted through various distribution channels to our key segments in both markets.
“Ballycastle, as part of the Causeway Coastal Route, will be promoted through the spring marketing campaign activity planned for 2016 in the Republic of Ireland market. The Causeway Coastal Route is also regularly promoted via Tourism NI’s programme of domestic PR activity with press releases, press trips, competitions and editorial.
“In addition, the Causeway Coastal Route frequently features on the itineraries of Tourism NI’s international media programme and international press regularly visit the Causeway Coastal Route including Ballycastle.
“On the www.discovernorthernireland.com website, the area is promoted throughout the year in editorial and highlighted event listings. In 2015 this has included the Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival, which was one of Tourism NI’s funded events for 2015/16. Other events highlighted during 2015 have included Ballycastle Town July Holiday Markets; The Auld Lammas Fair; Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive and Ballycastle Christmas Market.
“Tourism NI has already received listings for some key 2016 Ballycastle events from the town’s Visitor Information Centre and these will again be elevated in editorial produced as part of the web content plan and as highlighted events throughout the website. The Ballycastle area will also be highlighted as part of a major refresh of the Causeway Coast & Glens/Causeway Coastal Route section of the website.”