THE Mid & East Antrim Borough Council area has recorded a tourism boom and a focus is now to be put on the development of hotels.
Official figures given to councillors showed that NI Local Government statistics for 2018 showed an increase in overnight trips to the council area of 15 percent, an increase in visitor spend of 17 percent and an overall contribution of tourism to the economy of ‘approximately £50million per annum’.
Councillors were told it was very positive news which demonstrated the benefit of having events similar to those held this summer like Dalriada Festival, the SuperCup and golf tournaments.
Council minutes show councillors were told the Council’s strategy of becoming a key attraction on the Causeway Coastal route was beginning to pay off with The Gobbins at the heart of the destination.
Mayor, Councillor Maureen Morrow, said it was heartening that the beauty of the area was being discovered by more visitors.
Council Chief Executive Anne Donaghy told councillors they intended to further build on the area’s tourism offering.
Councillors were told the focus ‘would now be on the development of hotels within the area, supporting local businesses and the creation of a number of destinations within the Borough which could be promoted both locally and internationally’.
Chair of the Borough Growth Committee, Councillor Gregg McKeen, said the news was very welcome.