A Day in the Life

A Day in the Life… Leanne Rice, golf marketing manager for Tourism NI

WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT ROLE?
I joined Tourism NI in August last year. As golf marketing manager, my role involves developing and implementing a strategic golf marketing plan to enhance Northern Ireland’s Made for Golf position and to drive the Golf Strategy to increase the value of golf tourism to £50m. My day-to-day activities include coordinating the delivery of all Northern Ireland golf marketing and promotional team activity, optimising all planned golf, media and tourism events to ensure consistent marketing and branding.

WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND IN TOURISM?
At university, I spent my placement year as tourism officer with Belfast City Council, and I enjoyed learning about the tourism product in Belfast alone. Both my degree and master’s dissertations were tourism related so I suppose I have always had an interest in tourism. I am delighted to join Tourism NI at such an exciting time for the industry as we welcome more visitors than ever before who are staying longer and spending more.
WHAT ARE THE BEST/WORST PARTS OF YOUR JOB?
The best and worst parts of my job involve travelling. I’m just back from the IGTM expo in Cannes and I’m off to Florida for a global golf meet next month. I really enjoy the international shows and getting to showcase Northern Ireland’s diverse golf portfolio to potential holidaymakers from across the world. People in the golf industry enjoy the 19th hole so it’s not all work all the time but I would enjoy a bit more desk time.

WHAT DO YOU FIND MOST CHALLENGING ABOUT THE TOURISM SECTOR?
The tourism industry is constantly evolving, and I have to keep a very close eye on tourism markets, and visitor needs in relation to golf tourism. Competition from other golf ready destinations is high so I am particularly interested in learning how best to utilise the most effective channels to communicate with golfers.

OUTLINE A TYPICAL DAY
Every day is different in this role, which is ideal for me. One week I could be at a trade event and the next week I could be working with a golf club to identify ways to promote their tournament in the local market.

PROUDEST MOMENT OF YOUR CAREER TO DATE
I was awarded New Marketing Professional Award at the 2012 Chartered Institute of Marketing awards, which was a great boost for me, and it gave me great confidence to develop my career. Following this, I have won several awards from campaigns I managed with former employees, for integrated marketing campaigns that I led.

BEST THING ABOUT BEING INVOLVED IN THE LOCAL HOSPITALITY/TOURISM SECTOR
There’s never been a more exciting time to work in tourism in Northern Ireland, with record visitor numbers and a real buzz and vibrancy in the industry. I am currently involved in the planning for The Open Championship which will be held in Royal Portrush Golf Club in 2019.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO TO UNWIND AWAY FROM WORK?
My family live right beside the Mournes and I love escaping to the mountains for a ramble which in my opinion is the best walk we have in Northern Ireland, but I may be biased.

TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF NOT MANY PEOPLE MAY KNOW
When I was eight years old, I bought two calves with my communion money as an investment.

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