In 2004 a vision for the future of the Northern Ireland tourism industry was defined in an aspirational plan called the Strategic Framework for Action. This strategy introduced the concept of Signature Projects to align tourism investment to those developments that would act as the catalyst to create international stand out for Northern Ireland. From 2008 the Northern Ireland Executive allocated £60 million of funding to tourism, and over £300 million capital investment was made in the sector as a whole.
The five Signature Projects that were identified for their potential to create international stand out and world class excellence for Northern Ireland included: Saint Patrick and Christian Heritage; the Mournes; Causeway Coast and Glens; the Walled City of Derry; and Titanic.
Through these Signature Projects Tourism NI has supported a wide range of new tourism developments and improvements right across Northern Ireland. Support was given to initiatives which improved visitor attractions, activity tourism products, public realm, visitor information and tourist information centres, creative industries and new technologies that showcase Northern Ireland’s unique offering.
Our Tourism Infrastructure Today
Today the tourism industry’s vision of developing a world-class visitor experience is now coming to life. Titanic Belfast opened its doors in the spotlight of the world’s media in March 2012 and the new Giants Causeway Visitor Experience was officially launched in July 2012. In Derry~Londonderry, the Built Heritage Programme has restored St. Columb’s Cathedral, First Derry Presbyterian Church and the Playhouse Theatre to their former glory.
Northern Ireland’s Christian Heritage and Saint Patrick’s story is being told at the key sites that make up the 92 mile driving route such as Grey Abbey, Down Cathedral, Armagh Cathedral and the Registry. There has also been work in the Mournes with interpretation along the Coastal Route, and improvements to Silent Valley, Annalong, Mill Bay, Narrow Water and Dundrum.
For more information:
Tourism NI Financially Assisted Projects 2008-11 (3.46mb)