Northern Ireland tourism: Revenue up by £33m

Tourism Minister Arlene Foster Tourism Minister Arlene Foster said she was very encouraged by the figures

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Northern Ireland's tourism sector saw no change in numbers of external holidaymakers in 2013.

This was despite positive publicity from events like the G8 summit in Fermanagh.

However, according to official government statistics, the sector saw estimated revenues jump by £33m from 2012 to £723m.

The growth of the market last year was mainly driven by people from Great Britain visiting friends and family.

Tourism Minister Arlene Foster said she was "very encouraged" by the figures.

External visitors to Northern Ireland - including people from GB and the Republic of Ireland - totalled 2.1m, just above levels reported in 2008.

Targets

The number of those visitors coming to Northern Ireland for a holiday was 632,000, virtually unchanged from 2012.

As well as the G8, Northern Ireland also staged the World Police and Fire Games and Londonderry was UK Capital of Culture.

Ms Foster said: "Our key programme for government targets for visitor numbers and tourism revenue have been achieved for 2013.

"This keeps us on track to succeed with our goal to make tourism in Northern Ireland a £1bn industry by 2020."

The Giant's Causeway in County Antrim displaced Titanic Belfast as the most popular attraction.

The Causeway saw visitor numbers jump by 44% to 754,000.

Titanic Belfast had 604,000 visitors, down 9% on 2012.

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