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Causeway Coastal Route Cluster – Bulletin Feb 2020

The February Bulletin for the Causeway Coastal Route Cluster is available to read here.

Cluster Bulletin Feb 2020

MEA’s Tourism & Hospitality E-zine, Jan – Feb 2020

The latest news from Mid and East Antrim Council may be read here.


Causeway Coastal Route Tourism Cluster secures funding

Causeway Coastal Route Tourism Cluster has received a funding boost of £25,000 through Invest Northern Ireland’s Collaborative Growth Programme.

Considered to be an unforgettable tourist route, the Causeway Coast offers a breadth of experiences from memorable scenic locations, charming villages and exceptional hospitality choices along the way.

The Causeway Coastal Route Tourism Cluster aims to promote the area further with this latest funding boost. The cluster will scope out how best to encourage a wider tourism market to the area and enhance its popularity as a visitor destination.

Led by Marine Hotel Ballycastle, the project will focus on assessing how best to bring together three existing cluster groups, The Gobbins, The Glens of Antrim and Causeway and Binevenagh.

Causeway and Binevenagh Chair, Ann Donaghy, said: “The Causeway Coastal Route has fantastic landscapes with iconic attractions. Our tourists continue to seek new adventures, experiences, activities and attractions. The Causeway Coastal Routes 200 micro businesses have much to offer to increase dwell time and create sustainable year-round businesses within our communities.

“The Collaborative Growth programme is a welcomed opportunity to support SMEs to collectively explore new products, services or ways of working with the aim of strengthening and growing their business”

The Collaborative Growth Programme is aimed at Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise (SME) led networks, supporting opportunities to scope out innovative collaboration projects with the potential to increase business competitiveness.

Niall Casey, Director of Skills and Competitiveness at Invest NI, said: “We are delighted to be able to support the Causeway Coastal Route Network through our Collaborative Growth Programme.  In recent years we have supported over 100 such projects across a diverse range of sectors and subject matters; and we are confident that collaboration is a very successful method of accelerating business growth. We already know that tourism is vitally important to the area’s economy and we hope that this project will help identify new commercial opportunities for the companies involved.”

Having worked in the enterprise sector for 24 years, Kelli Bagchus, Manager of Carrickfergus Enterprise, has recently been appointed as facilitator of this project: “This funding is a real boost and the collaboration will be key in strengthening the quality of visitors’ trips, therefore shaping tourism in the local area.  There are brilliant experiences out there, but the industry tends to be fragmented so this funding and collective working will ultimately lead to a combined focus and improve business performance for those in the area.”

Kelli added: “I have a real understanding of the local landscape having assessed business needs and developed innovative support mechanisms such as the Coastal Hub Series and travel app, Experience Northern Ireland. There is a desire to continue to enhance the unique offerings of the wonderful Causeway Coast and we will continue to maximise on this.”

The project began in January and will run until November 2020.  During this time, Carrickfergus Enterprise will be scoping out the current offerings and identifying possible collaboration opportunities as well as looking at best practice in other destinations in Ireland and UK mainland.  If you would like to help shape tourism in your local area or find out more, get in touch via kelli@ceal.co.uk.

Source: Business First https://www.businessfirstonline.co.uk/other-articles/causeway-tourism-cluster-secures-funding/?no_cache=1

Digital Causeway Programme

The Digital Causeway Programme will assist over 300 businesses located within the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council area over a 3-year period.

For more information and an overview of the type of support available, please see here.

25th Institute of Hospitality NI Awards 2020 – now open

The Institute of Hospitality Northern Ireland Awards for Professionalism are the longest established hospitality awards in Northern Ireland, recognising the success of individuals working in all sectors of the industry. Entries are now open for the 2020 awards. #IOHNI25

The awards provide a platform to celebrate individual managers who have made a recognisable contribution to their place of work and to the industry in general.

There has never been a more exciting time to be involved in hospitality. An increase of 3,000 bedrooms is anticipated across Northern Ireland by 2021 and Belfast is currently the number one city in the UK for hotel investment. There is also an ambition to double the value of the tourism sector by 2020. It makes sense for us to recognise hard working, innovative, passionate professionals – those that really do go above and beyond the call of duty.

The deadline for entries is Monday 10 February 2020 and judging will take place on Tuesday 10 March and Wednesday 11 March 2020 at Crowne Plaza, Belfast. The Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony will be at Crowne Plaza Belfast on Friday 15 May 2020.

Don’t forget the awards are open to any eligible candidate who fits the criteria. You don’t have to be a member to take part.

Please see the website for more information – here.

If you have any questions regarding the Institute of Hospitality Northern Ireland Awards for Professionalism 2020, please contact:
IoH NI Awards Events Team
c/o Jcomms
Tel: 02896 931 576
Email: IoHNI@jcomms.co.uk

NI Tourism Awards 2020 – now open

Location: Slieve Donard Resort & Hotel
Date: 4 June 2020
Time: 9am-3pm

Tourism businesses across Northern Ireland are encouraged to get their entries in to the 2020 Northern Ireland Tourism Awards in association with Diageo Northern Ireland.

The awards will take place on Thursday 6th June in Slieve Donard Resort & Spa.

These awards recognise and reward excellence, best practice and innovation by tourism and hospitality businesses across Northern Ireland over the last twelve months

This year, businesses have the opportunity to compete for twelve categories including a new category for 2020, Excellence in International Marketing & Sales, and individual categories for B&B and Guest House accommodation providers for the first time.

The deadline for submitting entries for the awards is 5pm Friday 21st February.

For Full details on categories, criteria, and how to enter please click here.


Northern Ireland Tourism Awards 2020 Information Session

 To help you get the most out of this year’s awards process,Tourism Northern Ireland is holding an industry information session on Monday 27th January at Dunadry Hotel & Gardens.

This short morning session, running from 10am – 12.30pm will include a summary of how to enter for this year’s awards, explain the updated judging process and aim to answer any questions you may have.

For full details and to secure your place, please click here.


Christmas 2019 – MEA’s Tourism and Hospitality e-zine

The latest edition of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s ezine can be read here.

December 2019 – Mid and East Antrim Tourism and Hospitality News e-zine

The latest tourism and hospitality news from Mid and East Antrim Council can be accessed here.



Embrace Giant Spirit – Tourism NI’s new brand is launched

Tourism NI and Tourism Ireland launched the new ‘Embrace A Giant Spirit’ brand at the World Travel Market trade show in London in early November 2019.

The new destination brand will be used to promote Northern Ireland on the island of Ireland and internationally, with the aim of increasing visitor numbers and ensuring economic impact across all regions.  Northern Ireland – Embrace a Giant Spirit will communicate a high quality experience to visitors that is recognisable as distinctively Northern Irish.

You can read more about the launch and the brand here 

More information about brand guidelines and media assets may be found here.


November 2019 – Mid and East Antrim Tourism and Hospitality News E-zine


The latest Tourism e-zine from Mid and East Antrim Council can be accessed here.