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Tourism chiefs blasted for snubbing Tyrone

Sperrins

Tyrone doesn’t appear to be on the map when developing tourism is up for discussion.

Tyrone has been left out of a series of public workshops that are due to take place across Northern Ireland next month to discuss the development of a regional tourism strategy.

The fact that Tyrone is the only county in the North to receive such a snub has particularly angered Sinn Féin West Tyrone MLA, Barry McElduff.

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The Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment (DETI) said Tyrone was omitted due to “budget constraints,” but Mr Elduff blasted their excuse as “just not good enough.”

He said, “Historically Tourism NI has put little effort into Tyrone in terms of investment and promotion; its attentions seem to concentrate on places like the Titanic Quarter and the Mournes.

“During the month of February, five counties will host six workshops aimed at developing regional tourism and the fact that Tyrone is being completely ignored and forgotten about again is extremely disappointing.”

The MLA added, “There is so much potential for increasing tourism to Tyrone and to deny people in the county an opportunity to discuss this is just not good enough.

“I have written to DETI Minister Jonathan Bell to ask why a workshop is not being held in Tyrone, and I also want him to explain how he is going to remedy this.”

In response, a DETI spokesperson said, “There are a limited number of workshops which can be accommodated and decisions have to be made on locations to optimise attendance as far as possible.

“Locations for the workshops were chosen to ensure, as far as possible, a geographical spread across Northern Ireland in an effort to keep the distance participants would have to travel to a minimum.

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“The number and locations of workshops was limited by budget considerations and the availability of suitable venues which could accommodate the numbers expected.”

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