ROBIN Swann, the North Antrim Ulster Unionist Party Assembly member and his Party’s Westminster candidate for the area, has said it is “of vital importance” that any new legislative Assembly creates inward investment by promoting the tourist potential of the constituency.
Assemblyman Swann stressed that, if elected, he would specifically campaign for more touring caravan sites to be established in the Ballymoney and Moyle regions so that tourists can take full advantage of facilities within the northern end of the constituency.
Mr Swann said that, according to ABTA, tourism is worth £1,264 million annually and supports over 60,000 jobs to Northern Ireland.
Indeed, he added, tourism across the entire UK generates nearly £146 billion per year for the UK economy, supporting 3.2 million jobs – “hence the vital importance of developing the constituency as a tourism income-generating outlet”.
Mr Swann added: “The Moyle area in particular, which includes some of the Province’s most beautiful locations such as the Glens of Antrim and the Giant’s Causeway, needs to be developed to meet the demands of the short-stay caravaners.
“Touring caravans and motorised caravans are becoming increasingly popular, but we are lacking in sites in the region. This would encourage such tourists to stop for a few days in Moyle and Ballymoney, sample the region’s facilities in terms of sights and shopping, and then continue with their touring holiday.
“The Ballymoney area should also develop more short-stay touring caravan sites because it is ideally situated as a gateway to many of the Province’s coastal attractions. Such sites could also be promoted in conjunction with the borough’s commercial community.
“If properly developed and managed, the short-stay tourist market could become a very profitable venture for the Ballymoney and Moyle commercial sectors.
“These caravan facilities could create employment and economic prosperity, particularly in the Glens of Antrim. Both areas already have well established shopping and sight-seeing facilities.
“It is now time to develop a short-stay tourism infrastructure which can enable more people from throughout Northern Ireland and further afield to sample the delights of our constituency.
“The Glens of Antrim are already designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty. More people would visit the region if they knew they had facilities for short stay-overs,” said Assemblyman Swann.
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