Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has recently commissioned the development of a Tourism Development and Marketing Strategy and Action Plan to 2022 with the objective of growing the industry within the council area. This work is being undertaken by Michael Williams, ASM and Professor Terry Stevens, Stevens & Associates.
Fermanagh Visitor Information Centre is moving a short walk away from its existing premises opposite the Ulsterbus depot in Enniskillen to the new state-of-the-art Visitor Centre at Enniskillen Castle.
The Visitor Information Centre, which is a service provided by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council and is part of Tourism NI’s Visitor Information Centre network, will close at 5pm today (Wednesday 24 August) and reopen at 9.30am tomorrow (Thursday 25 August) in the purpose-built Visitor Centre at Enniskillen Castle.
The move to Enniskillen Castle will enable visitors to enjoy enhanced facilities including self-service touch screens; access to a genealogy service and Fermanagh County Museum’s archives; café and shop. These new services are in addition to those currently available which include information on things to do and eating out; accommodation bookings, ticket sales for local events, and the purchase of canal cards, fishing licences and permits.
Belfast Mela’s decade long success at melding international culture and local communities will be reflected again at this year’s event with a special focus on the Year of Food and Drink.
Launched in 2007 by the pioneering ArtsEkta ethnic arts organisation, this year’s Mela takes place on Sunday afternoon (28 August) in Botanic Gardens in Belfast. The exotic festival of global identities has long been a showcase of the culture and cuisine of a wealth of nations. Now with support from the Year of Food and Drink Tourism Events Scheme, global gastronomy will combine with great local produce in a delicious cultural fusion.
A total of 48 food related events have been supported from the £300,000 Tourism NI fund secured from central government. Allocation of the budget, designed to enhance and uplift the food and drink element of existing events or create a new authentic food and drink experience, has boosted even further Mela’s culinary offering.
“This year global cuisine will be wafting luscious aromas around the park as Belfast Mela pays tribute to Northern Ireland Year of Food & Drink 2016,” said Festival Director Nisha Tandon.
“International chefs will combine their talents and culinary heritage with great local produce to provide fabulous dishes to sample and enjoy. From ‘A Night In Rajasthan’ tandoori barbeque experience and the World Food Market to Live Cookery Theatre and the specially-curated Artisan Market showcasing what’s fresh and new from dynamic local food producers …. cooking doesn’t get much better than this!”
Tourism NI will deliver an Autumn marketing campaign in the Republic of Ireland market from Monday 19 Sept until Sunday 30 October. The campaign will showcase Northern Ireland as a short break destination for Autumn and highlight our many unique experiences. The campaign will focus on TV, Outdoor and press, supported by Social and Digital Media, PR and full web integration.
For the first time ever, two Street Food businesses from Northern Ireland are being provided with the opportunity to demonstrate their culinary expertise at the major event for the industry in Britain – The British Street Food Awards 2016.
Twelve street-food traders – from all over the country will be judged on the quality and innovation of their food, along with customer service at the Hillsborough International Oyster Festival on Saturday 3rd September.
The two winners of the first-ever Northern Ireland heat, which is being organised by Food NI and Tourism NI as part of Year of Food and Drink, will go forward to the finals of the British Street Food Awards in Birmingham on 17/18 September.
The Year of Food and Drink is to be featured in a special show on RTE filmed entirely in Derry during one of the city’s biggest festivals this summer.
Organised through Tourism NI’s ROI Office in conjunction with Derry City & Strabane District Council and Visit Derry, RTE Nationwide will air on Monday 29th August at 7pm on RTE 1. Presented by Mary Kennedy and Anne Cassin, the programme was filmed during the Foyle Maritime Festival which took place from 9 to 17th July. Over 160,000 people enjoyed the packed programme of nautical themed activities which included hosting the stopover of the Clipper Race 2015/16 towards the end of their Round the World Journey.
A South Derry farming family who’ve worked their land through seven generations have grabbed the challenges in the agri-food industry firmly by the horns.
The O’Briens from Ballyriff, struggling to see a future in the production of beef, are now breeding and producing buffalo on their land near Magherafelt. The only buffalo farm in the north, Ballyriff boasts a herd of 50 strong and is into its third generation of breeding after starting off with just four animals.
It’s not the first time the dyed-in-the-wool farmers have diversified to survive with patriarch Mickey O’Brien having moved from dairy farming in the past. And with beef going the way of milk in terms of profitability, his latest move was aimed at the future and that of his family, says son Barry.
Féile an Phobail has long set the standard for a host of ground-breaking events with its International Food Fayre one of its many trailblazing successes. A highlight of the Féile programme for the last 15 years or so, the fair could arguably claim the title of the first major food tourism event in the city, showcasing as it does the range of international cuisine being cooked up in restaurants – and homes - across Belfast. Designed to integrate and educate on ethnic cuisine and therefore culture, festival organisers were among the first to make the link between food and heritage and the wider visitor offering now being promoted by the Year of Food and Drink.
A joint council collaboration as part of the NI Year of Food and Drink has been celebrating all things ‘veggie’ at its latest event.
The ‘Love Veg!’ event took place as part of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s ‘Wild about Food’ project which has been running since May in collaboration with Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and funded by Heritage Lottery Fund.
As part of the celebrations Deputy Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough, Alderman William McNeilly visited Eden Allotment Gardens near Carrickfergus as part of a showcase of local produce and vegetables in particular. His visit was timed to coincide with National Allotments Week which ran from 8 to 14 August.
The recently restored last floating survivor of the 1916 Battle of Jutland, HMS Caroline, has been awarded a five-star visitor attraction rating, signifying that the attraction is operating to an ‘outstanding’ level, John McGrillen, Chief Executive Tourism Northern Ireland has announced.
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