27 February by Eleanor McGillie
Tourism businesses are being invited to attend ‘Meet The NW200’ in Cookstown which will attract accommodation providers, food and drink businesses and activity providers from across Northern Ireland.
The event, which will take place in the Burnavon Arts and Cultural Centre, will welcome MBE Mervyn Whyte, the NW200 event director and Fergus Mackay, event operations manager.
The audience will also hear from Live It Experience It member, Mark Rodgers of Dalriada Kingdom Tours – a unique guided walking experience covering the Giants Causeway Coastal Route, Rathlin Island, Dunluce Castle and the Giants Causeway.
The aim of the event is to give tourism businesses the chance to hear about the opportunities the NW200 presents to those who provide accommodation, have a great foodie story to share and who make Northern Ireland a fun place to visit through the indoor and outdoor activities they provide.
Race week, which runs from May 13 to May 19 this year, attracts 185,000 spectator admissions across the week.
Speaking ahead of the ‘Meet The NW200’, Fergus Mackay said: “Mid Ulster is a main route for spectators who are heading to the NW200. The NW200 is very much a major bike race but it is also a tourism event which attracts huge numbers of people to Northern Ireland.
“Twenty per cent of our visitors come from overseas and overall the event in 2017 created 69,744 commercial bed nights on the Causeway coast. The overall economic impact for the Causeway Coast region last year was £12.3million.
“But the economic impact is much wider. Everyone knows the NW200 is on because they see thousands of bikers riding around Northern Ireland. These visitors need places to stay, places to eat and drink and of course they like to have fun while they are here.
“It’s important to us that we can also tell our spectators what Northern Ireland has to offer.
“Last year we partnered with Live It Experience It – a tourism community which tells the story of Northern Ireland through its members offerings. The NW200 is an event which can benefit businesses right across Northern Ireland.”
Eleanor McGillie, director of Live It Experience It, said: “The International NW200 is the largest outdoor sporting experience in Ireland so it’s important that we work collaboratively to tell the story of Northern Ireland’s offering through our members and what they have to offer to our visitors. That can be a great place to stay, somewhere which is fantastic for food and drink as well as showcasing Northern Ireland as a fun place to visit.
“Tourism is on the rise and events like the NW200 are crucial to boosting these numbers. Latest government figures show visitor numbers to Northern Ireland are now spending £2.7 million a day.
“Tourism bosses say the figures show a 4 per cent growth in overseas visitors and a 12 per cent growth in revenue.
“Live It Experience It promotes our region through our accommodation providers, as a foodie destination and as somewhere visitors can enjoy a wealth of indoor and outdoor activities. So we encourage tourism businesses to come along on March 5 and hear the opportunities which are presented to them.”
Businesses wishing to attend can email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive their invitation. Places are limited.
Live It Experience It’ is a group of journalists and travel writers who tell the story of our members. We work collaboratively with our members, which are tourism businesses, to promote Northern Ireland through water, air and land based activities, food and drink and great places to stay. Together we let our visitors know of all of the amazing things Northern Ireland has to offer. To become a member business in of ‘Live It Experience It’ call our office on 028 3756 8436 or please submit your information through our online form. T&Cs apply – Sign Up Here Let us tell your story! #liveitexperienceit