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Learning Journey To Unlock Dunluce Potential

Feb 11

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11 February 2013  RssIcon

A group of tourism industry representatives from Northern Ireland with an interest in historic castles and heritage sites attended a Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) Learning Journey to Scotland to examine best-practice visitor experiences.

The initiative is part of the ongoing drive to strengthen and develop the tourism potential of the Dunluce Castle visitor site and create linkages between historic monuments and castles across Northern Ireland.

Following the recent archaeological discovery of a post medieval village at the Dunluce castle site, NITB sees further potential to develop the area surrounding the castle as part of the Causeway Coastal Route.

Organised under the NITB's Next Level Programme, the two-day learning journey took in the state-owned Urquhart Castle on the banks of Loch Ness, the privately owned Cawdor Castle near Inverness, and the nearby Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre and Exhibition. The group also took the opportunity to discuss tourism models and approaches with Scott Armstrong from Visit Scotland.

Delegates included Adrian Morrow, estate manager at Glenarm Castle, Maxime Sizaret of the Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust, Johann Muldoon, Manor Architects, Sarah McHugh, Fermanagh County Museum and representatives from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and NITB.

Kathleen McBride, NITB's Destination Manager, said; "Dunluce Castle is a key visitor destination on the Causeway Coastal Route and one of the premier tourist attractions in Northern Ireland.

"However, we believe it has further stand out potential which can be maximised through the creation of both authentic and unique memorable visitor experiences and achieved by working in partnership with public, private and community sectors.

"The experiential tourism model approach is very much the new phenomenon in tourism and our main goals are to appraise how it works in the Scottish sites, which are similar in size and scope to Dunluce, and to gain experience of what is realistically achievable back in Northern Ireland.

"Comparing and contrasting Scottish best-practice facilities with ours will ultimately help to unlock the future tourism potential of the unique Dunluce Castle site."

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