The importance of tourism to the East Antrim constituency has been outlined by Assembly candidates.
UKIP representative Noel Jordan called for the establishment of a major tourist industry based on East Antrim’s key tourist sites targeting a strong family tourism market from throughout the UK.
“East Antrim has some of the best tourist sites in Northern Ireland: Carrick Castle, the Andrew Jackson homestead, the Gobbins coastal path, and the Antrim Coast Road,” he said.
“Northern Ireland’s Tourist Board has spent much time focusing on the luxury American market and, although important, we need to focus nearer to home. Foreign tourism is a bonus but it misses the big tourist market and opportunity on our own doorstep. There are over 40 million people who live within four hours drive of the Lancashire and Scottish ports. Their obvious point of entry is through our own ports of Larne and Belfast. Far more needs to be done to attract and promote them and show these potential tourists what East Antrim has to offer.”
The area has “huge potential” in terms of tourism, according to Sinn Fein candidate, Oliver McMullan.
“Tourism is vital to this constituency and I have championed the concept of a Causeway Coast Corridor to attract more visitors from abroad but also from within the island,” he said.
“I have worked closely with Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill to deliver £95 million to East Antrim over the last five years.”-