Navigating the Tourism EcoSystem in Northern Ireland
Watson & Co. Chartered Marketing founder – Chartered Marketer and Licensed WorldHost Trainer Christine Watson has been working in tourism in Northern Ireland since she was 12. Starting off washing dishes in a hotel on the main street of Newcastle, County Down – where the mountains of mourne sweep down to the sea, Christine now has over 25 years under her belt.
With this experience and given the breadth and depth of the work undertaken over two and a half decades Watson & Co. Chartered Marketing has gained a handle on many of the players in the tourism eco system in Northern Ireland. One frequent occurrence, that we trust this blog may assist with, is us as a Business Mentor and Trainer coming across a business, organisation or individual who is surprised by some of the organisations or players that we cite as useful to know or engage with when they seek to carry out effective tourism marketing. So, we have taken a little time out of our week to create a useful listicle (a list style blog) to serve as a handy reference and resource:
Paid Membership Organisation (Part funded by Belfast City Council):
Visitor Information Centres:
- Bushmills (seasonal)
- Giant’s Causeway
- The Gobbins
- Cockle Row
- Portaferry (seasonal)
Destination Marketing Organisations:
- Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism
- Visit Mournes
- Lough Neagh Partnership
- Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust
Local Councils – specifically Tourism Officers:
- Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council
- Ards and North Down Borough Council
- Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council
- Belfast City Council
- Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council
- Derry City and Strabane District Council
- Fermanagh and Omagh District Council – Enniskillen Office
- Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council
- Mid and East Antrim Borough Council
- Mid Ulster District Council – Dungannon
- Newry, Mourne and Down District Council
BIDs – Business Improvement Districts:
- Linen Quarter BID
- Ballymena BID
- Belfast One BID
- Destination CQ BID (Belfast)
- Enniskillen BID
- Newry BID
- BID in Strabane
- four Causeway Coastal Route (CRR) clusters
- Causeway Coastal Route – led by Norman McBride, General Manager of Hastings Hotels Ballygally Castle
- Tourism cluster groups have been set up in the Glens of Antrim and Gobbins area with two additional groups being implemented in the Causeway Coast & Bivenenagh and Limavady areas
- Mid Ulster Cluster
Food Tourism Clusters:
Trade / Industry Bodies:
So, if you are thinking of employing an influencer marketing campaign, maybe you first want to approach some or all of the above players who we personally see as potentially the most important ‘influencers’ for tourism marketers in Northern Ireland.
If engaging these key players helps you to meet your business objectives, when will you start and how? If you are already using Influencer marketing successfully don’t be shy about sharing your learnings with us for consideration in future editions of this listicle blog and for the benefit of our local marketing and business community here in Northern Ireland. Contact Us.
Your Key Players in the Tourism Industry in Northern Ireland listicle was scribed by Chartered Marketer Christine Watson on Monday 7 October 2019 in advance of her talk at the Slieve Donard Hotel in Newcastle for Ulster Bank Boost and Discover NI – a free breakfast which focuses on tourism opportunities.
This list was scribed from first hand knowledge of the tourism sector in Northern Ireland and was supported by research carried out online via google searches to provide links to websites.
It is not an exhaustive list and we know that there are more players in the tourism industry in Northern Ireland including media, trade publications and bloggers and, of course, the landscape has the potential to change all the time – with new entrants arriving and some quangos shutting up shop due to funding shortages.
Blog created 7 October 2019. Anticipate future edits and additions.