Tourism & Business news

Ulster Bank joins tourism bodies to deliver sector update

Lisa McCaul, business growth enabler with Ulster Bank.

Ulster Bank Boost is hosting a virtual seminar to discuss the many challenges facing the tourism and hospitality sectors in the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.

Taking place on Thursday, October 15, the event will bring together a panel of experts including Colin Neill (Hospitality Ulster), Dr Joanne Stuart (NI Tourism Alliance) and Richard Ramsey (Ulster Bank).

Organised in partnership with the Causeway Chamber of Commerce, the focus of the event is to provide support for the many businesses within the borough which rely on a thriving tourism industry and address the very real concerns business owners may have as Covid-19 continues to impact the industry.

Attendees are invited to put their questions to the panel, each of which will be sharing their experience and learnings from working in the sector. As chief executive of Hospitality Ulster, Colin Neill has been campaigning rigorously since the pandemic began to alleviate the pressures on hospitality businesses across Northern Ireland and will give his insights into what the future might hold for these companies.

Similarly, Dr Joanne Stuart as CEO of the Northern Ireland Tourism Alliance has been a welcome voice for tourism businesses and has used her influence at government and business circles to ensure that support for this sector remains a top priority when Covid-19 mitigation measures are being agreed.

“The hospitality and tourism industry has been one of the most negatively impacted by Covid-19 and this event comes at a really crucial time for us,” said Neill. “With tighter restrictions being imposed, the challenges faced by the industry are only going to increase this winter; a time when local businesses would normally be preparing for a busy Christmas period.

“From the very start of this pandemic, the resilience and adaptability shown by those hardworking businesses in our industry has been fantastic but, with reduced custom and mounting bills, there is only so long that businesses can last.

“The NI Executive along with the UK government must continue to recognise the vital contribution which the hospitality and tourism industry makes to the local economy. Without continued and targeted support, the very survival of our industry is in jeopardy.

“This event will be the perfect opportunity for local business leaders to come together and to discuss viable solutions for making it through this difficult period and ensuring a successful future for as many of our fantastic venues in the North Coast and right across Northern Ireland.”

Event organiser Lisa McCaul, a business growth enabler with Ulster Bank, said this was a welcome opportunity to work collaboratively to protect one of Northern Ireland’s most popular tourist destinations.

“It’s clear that the tourism sector is heading into a very difficult period but our message to businesses and our customers in this area is that they are not alone,” she said. “At Ulster Bank Boost, we provide local businesses with the tools, network and knowledge to grow but at this uncertain time, it’s also important we can bring confidence and clarity by working in collaboration with some of the leading voices in this sector.

“I’d like to thank all of the speakers for taking part in the event and look forward to hearing their contributions. Particular thanks must go to the Causeway Chamber for partnering with us and helping us to reassure attendees that their business matters.”

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