Dodds choosing tourism competition with the south, rather than cooperation

Mon, 16/11/2020 - 15:09 -- Editor

DUP economy minister Diane Dodds has been criticised for not working with the Irish government to promote partnership working, to link and jointly promote the Causeway Coast and the Wild Atlantic Way.

In a written answer to a question from SDLP economy spokesperson Sinead McLaughlin, Diane Dodds stated that she has not engaged with her counterpart in the Republic of Ireland to promote a link between the two coastal routes. 

McLaughlin said: “The Wild Atlantic Way is one of Europe’s most successful road trips. Linking it with the beautiful Causeway Coast would provide a major tourism boost for Northern Ireland, especially for the North West. Instead, the minister has indicated that she prefers competition to co-operation. She is adopting a narrow minded, Northern Ireland only, approach. 

“Tourism Ireland is the body that is intended to co-ordinate cross-border tourism marketing, yet it is not even mentioned in minister Dodds’ reply. Tourism Ireland is part of the framework of the Good Friday Agreement. It is very disappointing that the minister should spurn joint working and an institution established on a cross-community basis. 

“I am particularly upset as a representative of Derry that the minister is apparently rejecting an approach that has the opportunity to generate substantial tourism revenues for the area I represent. Derry could and should be the centre that links the Wild Atlantic Way with the Causeway Coast.”