Monday 20 February 2017 01:11:25 PM

Tourism Sector Not Being Taken Seriously Says Hazzard
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dn_screenSouth Down Sinn Féin MLA Chris Hazzard has accused Tourism Minister Arlene Foster and Finance Minister Simon Hamilton of not taking the sector seriously.

Mr Hazzard said: “Tourism in the North of Ireland is not being taken seriously by those Ministers holding the economic portfolios – Arlene Foster and Simon Hamilton.

“While the hosting of events such as Giro d’Italia is to be welcomed I believe that the Ministers are not capitalising on the potential presented by the worldwide exposure these occasions provide.

“Both Ministers need to redouble their efforts to have Airport Passenger Duty (APD) transferred to the Executive. We have the ludicrous situation where we have APD on all flights out of the North with the exception of New York while 100 miles down the road in Dublin travellers don’t have this added expense.

“Ministers need to stop the prevarication and insist that APD which would present minimal cost with substantial return to the tourism industry be transferred sooner rather than later. I have no doubt that it could also be a deciding factor in ongoing efforts to attract other carriers and access more routes, as well as enhancing the numbers of international visitors to our shores.”