Growth depends on community approval - top tourism boss

By Peter Winter

Reporter:

By Peter Winter

Email:

peter.winter@thechronicle.uk.com

ONE of Northern Ireland's top tourism chiefs has warned the industry's success depends on local people being content with visitor numbers.

Gery Lennon, Chief Executive of Visit Belfast, was giving evidence at a Commons select committee earlier this month.

Responding to questions on the need to balance numbers and capacity from Labour MP Kate Hoey, he said the goals of organisations like his were evolving from pure marketing of destinations to marketing and management.

“I know you are probably talking about the Giant’s Causeway and the Dark Hedges, but it is the same principle,” he said.

“The key thing is to make sure that the local communities are coming along, understanding and are happy with the level.

“The minute they are not, we need to balance it. In the past, it was all about growth, not about the value and the real benefit.”

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