Northern Ireland

NITB chief Alan Clarke steps down after 13 years

Alan Clarke Image copyright other
Image caption Alan Clarke is due to retire in September

The chief executive of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board Alan Clarke is to step down after 13 years in the role.

He has been at the helm through the MTV music awards, the opening of Titanic Belfast, the Irish Open and Londonderry's year as UK city of culture.

Mr Clarke's departure follows what he called the "phenomenal impact" of the Giro in Northern Ireland.

He said he had spent "13 incredibly fulfilling years" at NITB.

"I have been fortunate to have helped steer tourism through a £300m investment by the public and private sectors," he said.

"This has included MTV, ni2012 Our Time Our Place, the opening of Titanic Belfast and Causeway visitor centre, the Irish Open, significant investment in Derry/Londonderry leading to UK City of Culture, and the phenomenal impact of the Giro that we have just witnessed.

"I have no doubt that these secure building blocks will carry tourism forward into the next decade as mainstream within the Northern Ireland economy."

NITB chairman Howard Hastings thanked Mr Clarke for his "excellent work".

"The list of achievements on his watch is extraordinary, from vision to delivery of the five signature projects through to the successful hosting of numerous major events to showcase the new Northern Ireland to global audiences," he said.

Mr Clarke is due to retire at the end of September.