IN ONE of her last acts as Enterprise Minister the DUP’s Arlene Foster has hit back at research which states there are no standout reasons to visit Fermanagh, calling the county a “key tourism area for Northern Ireland”.
Controversial research published by Tourism NI and revealed during a presentation to Fermanagh and Omagh District Council found that keen deals being offered by local hotels were the main reasons why visitors come to Fermanagh – not the landmark attractions like the lakes and the Marble Arch caves.
Mrs Foster, now the Finance Minister said the headlines were “not a full or fair reflection of the detailed visitor research presented at the recent Fermanagh and Omagh Council meeting.”
She continued: “The article in full referenced the wider research that indeed ‘Fermanagh is blessed with enviable natural resources and has enough supporting tourism product to satisfy current demand. It is a key tourism area for Northern Ireland’.”
In one of her last acts as Enterprise Minister she explained that Tourism NI officials have already attended a Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism Board meeting to address the issue and will also be attending a Destination Fermanagh Steering Group meeting later this month to give the research presentation in full.
She added: “In addition, Tourism NI is progressing a memorandum of understanding to work more closely with Fermanagh and Omagh Council in future and will be assisting them to develop their local tourism strategy.”
Mrs Foster is the latest to defend Fermanagh as a tourist destination, with local business people previously saying the county has plenty to offer tourists, with others calling for more investment to help improve current facilities. Mrs Foster has been replaced in her role as Enterprise Minister by party colleague Jonathan Bell.
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