27 February by Eleanor McGillie

THE organisers of the Vauxhall International North West 200 have announced a  partnership with tourism cluster ‘Live It Experience It’ to boost tourism potential for businesses right across Northern Ireland.

The NW200 partnership was announced today at the official launch of Live It Experience It – a new membership cluster aimed at helping tourism businesses grow by sharing the story of what Northern Ireland has to offer visitors.

Left to Right: Fergus Mackey of North West 200, Sara O' Neill Éadach, Eleanor McGillie Director Live It Experience It, Mervyn Whyte MBE North West 200 ‘Live It Experience It’ is a cluster of tourism businesses working together to promote Northern Ireland through water, air and land based activities, food and drink and great places to stay.

Water, land and air based activity providers, accommodation providers and people working in the food and drink industry, attended the official launch at the iconic Arcadia building in Portrush.

The NW200 partnership, announced by Vauxhall International  NW200 Event Director, Mervyn Whyte MBE, Event Operations Manager, Fergus Mackay and Eleanor McGillie, Director of Live It Experience It, focuses on the tourism opportunities the 100,000 spectators bring to the region during race week.

Mervyn Whyte MBE told the audience that Live It Experience It provides a platform for businesses right across Northern Ireland to showcase the experiences they have to offer and tells the story of Northern Ireland’s overall offering.

Left to Right: Mervyn Whyte MBE of North West 200, Eleanor Mc Gillie Director of Live It Experience It, Alderman Maura Hickey Mayor of the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Fergus Mackey of North West 200 at Live It Experience It Launch today. ‘Live It Experience It’ is a cluster of tourism businesses working together to promote Northern Ireland through water, air and land based activities, food and drink and great places to stay.

 

He said: “The Vauxhall International North West 200 has established itself as a premier sporting event. It’s the largest outdoor sporting event in Ireland. Last year we had 100,000 visitors with 20 per cent of these visitors coming from overseas. These visitors generated a total of 60,000 bed nights across the region. Total revenue generated for local businesses amounted to £6.2million.

“Although the race takes place on the North Coast, these spectators also travel around Northern Ireland while they are here. We want businesses right across the region to benefit and we also want our spectators to know what Northern Ireland has to offer. We want those 100,000 people to leave with a good story to tell about what Northern Ireland has to offer and Live It Experience It will help us achieve that.”

Eleanor McGillie, director of Live It Experience It, said: “We have created a cluster concept and a brand which people like and engage with. Our tourism cluster is one which aims to help all tourism businesses grow by telling their story in a meaningful and relevant way.

“We will be working with businesses across Northern Ireland at our cluster meetings to create visitor experiences which we will then be writing about and sharing those stories across the North West 200’s digital platforms.

“Northern Ireland has so much to offer with many hidden gems off the beaten track. Our website, www.liveitexperienceit.com,  allows businesses to showcase what they can offer, it allows visitors to search the region and what there is to do. We give visitors a real flavour of Northern Ireland.

“The Vauxhall International North West 200 is a phenomenal event which is growing year on year. Tourism businesses are key to providing spectators with wonderful experiences.

“We have surf schools, coasteering schools, mountain ranges, mountain bike tracks, golf courses, glamping sites, flying clubs, walking tours, bus tours, food tours and much more.

“What we have on our own doorsteps is phenomenal. We just need to tell our visitors our stories which will in turn present major opportunities to help our tourism businesses grow.”

The Vauxhall International North West 200 takes place this year from May 7-13.

Live It Experience It’ is a cluster of tourism businesses working together to promote our region through water, air and land based activities, food and drink and great places to stay. If you would like to become a member business in our ‘Live It Experience It’ cluster please submit your information through our online form. Pitch your business and meet like minded tourism businesses who you could cluster with. #liveitexperienceit

NW200 partnership with Live It Experience It

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Eleanor McGillie

About Eleanor McGillie

Eleanor spent eight years working in the south west of England - one of the UK's most popular tourism hotspots. During her stint working with key players in the tourism sector she developed a love for all things outdoor adventure. As a journalist she got to travel to remote corners of the world to write travel features about the experiences of a particular place. Northern Ireland's story needs to be told and needs to reach new audiences. Live It Experience It aims to attract tourists from outside Ireland, people from Ireland and people who live in Northern Ireland but aren't aware of the extent of the adventures on our own doorsteps.