Northern Ireland Office written question – answered on 11th March 2015.

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Photo of Neil Carmichael Neil Carmichael Conservative, Stroud

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps she is taking to promote tourism to Northern Ireland.

Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

The promotion of tourism to Northern Ireland is primarily a devolved matter, but I take every opportunity to support it. Northern Ireland is one of the most beautiful parts of the United Kingdom.

I welcome the fact that almost 1.8 million people visited it in 2014, representing a five per cent increase over 2013.

The global media coverage of the G8 summit, which the Prime Minister brought to Fermanagh, and of the Giro d’Italia Grande Partenza, significantly raised Northern Ireland’s profile. The Irish Open at Royal County Down and the return of the Tall Ships to Belfast should attract new visitors.

I am also pleased that the new British-Irish Visa Scheme in China and India will enable visits to both Ireland and the UK, including Northern Ireland, on a single visa of either country.

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