Economy Minister Gordon Lyons has launched a multi-million pound support programme for the local tourism sector.
The Experience Development Programme will provide financial assistance to existing tourism providers to create experiences that echo the Northern Ireland ‘Embrace a Giant Spirit’ experience brand as well as stimulate demand for local tourism.
With capital grants of up to £450,000, the programme is open for applications now and will lever substantial new investment in tourism offerings across Northern Ireland. Funding of up to 80% of eligible costs is available for private/voluntary sector organisations and up to 50% for public sector bodies.
Commenting on the new programme, the Minister said: “Northern Ireland is one of the most beautiful places on earth, it offers experiences that live long in the memory and its people are among the most welcoming around.
“This programme will help our tourism sector capitalise on these essential assets. We must ensure we are well-placed to meet and maximise demand in future years. This programme will help us meet those demands by supporting the development of a sustainable tourism economy. I encourage all forward-thinking, innovative providers to consider applying.”
David Roberts, Director of Strategic Development at Tourism NI, said: “Tourism NI first introduced the programme last year and received phenomenal interest from the industry. Due to the high levels of demand, we are delighted to open the programme again for a new round of projects. The programme will help tourism providers develop new and attractive experiences that are in line with the Northern Ireland ‘Embrace a Giant Spirit’ experience brand and explore all that Northern Ireland has to offer.
“We welcome and encourage applications that bring new and advanced ways to deliver business safely, enhance the visitor experience, support demand and increase consumer confidence. This Experience Development Programme is a further illustration of Tourism NI’s commitment to support tourism experience providers in their journey to recovery.”
The programme will focus on attractions and other experience providers.
Full details of eligibility criteria and information on how to apply for the programme are at https://www.tourismni.com/edp
Closing date for applications is 4 October 2021 at 3pm.