Tourism sector prepares for major growth – how you can play your part - Go Succeed

Tourism sector prepares for major growth – how you can play your part

April 26, 2024 | Blog | Tourism

There are huge ambitions for Northern Ireland’s tourism sector with a goal to grow the value of the industry by 75 per cent over the next decade.

For those wanting to start or grow a business in the industry, it means there is a tremendous opportunity to be part of that growth story – and we can help.

We know that the potential is incredible with annual tourism spending reaching around £1 billion in 2019.

A draft strategy from the Department for the Economy envisages not just attracting more visitors but also convincing them to stay longer and spend more.

The domestic market plays a role but the strategy is also designed to attract visitors from Great Britain, the Republic of Ireland and North America – chosen because of their “scale, value, potential for growth and likely propensity to consider Northern Ireland as a holiday destination.

Of course, living in Northern Ireland, we know only too well what this place has to offer in terms of its natural beauty, rich built heritage, incredible food and drink and our world famous welcome.

Add to that events such as Belfast 24 taking place this year, and the next staging of The Open golf championship at Royal Portrush in 2025 and the building blocks are there. For businesses and entrepreneurs, now is the time to capitalise.

If you’re starting out, the first thing to say is that running a business in the tourism sector can be very rewarding, but there are a number of considerations to make before setting up.

Perhaps you are considering a tourism accommodation business. There is much to think about from the level of facilities, amenities and services you are going to provide to how you are going to market the business.

In terms of legalities, the property will need to be certified by Tourism NI which will involve an inspection to ensure it is up to standard.

Various licences may also be necessary. For example, if you plan to serve alcohol on your premises, you will need to have an up-to-date liquor licence. And if you have televisions or play music those will need covered by licences too.

It might seem daunting but at Go Succeed, we can link you with local experts that can help you access resources, and people that will help you jump through the necessary hoops.

Our programmes, delivered totally free of charge, support you with events and masterclasses, online business plan resources, access to grant funding, one to one advice and support and peer networks.

Find out more by completing our webform or calling us on 0800 027 0639.