Northern Ireland

Howard Hastings calls for more money for agencies which market tourism

Howard Hastings
Image caption Howard Hastings, managing director of Hastings Hotels, said greater investment would lead to economic growth

One of Northern Ireland's leading hoteliers has said it is bizarre that more money is not being given to the agencies which market tourism in NI.

Howard Hastings, managing director of Hastings Hotels, said greater investment would lead to economic growth.

He told the BBC's Inside Business programme that much more needs to be done to promote existing attractions.

"The failure we make is not marketing more comprehensively," he said.

"It seems bizarre when we want to rebalance our economy away from our dependence on the public sector to more private sector led.

"There's nothing more private sector than the tourism economy.

"By denying the marketing funds to the marketing agencies we're giving up our chances of securing that private sector growth that we seek."

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