Tourism Chief Highlights Potential in Mid and East Antrim

Tourism NI Chief Executive John McGrillen met with tourism representatives across Mid and East Antrim this week and visited a number of key attractions in the borough. He was joined by Tourism Ireland’s Head of Stakeholder Engagement for Northern Ireland, Helen McGorman.  

They both spoke to Council officials and industry about plans to further support tourism in the area.  The visit included the Andrew Jackson Cottage and the US Rangers Centre, a walking tour of Carrickfergus, the Whitehead Centre, an e-bike tour to scenic Blackhead Lighthouse as well as a tour of the Whitehead Railway Museum and the Gobbins Cliff Path.   

Commenting on his visit John McGrillen said;

“Mid and East Antrim offers significant growth opportunities in tourism and I was delighted to visit the borough and meet with so many inspiring people who are striving to realise the potential of the area”.

“The tourism led regeneration projects within the City and Growth Deal Programmes will have significant impact for Carrickfergus and The Gobbins as well as the wider Mid and East Antrim area and will help Northern Ireland to stand out internationally and remain competitive. In the meantime we must also continue to support smaller experiences which appeal to our core market segments and encourage more people to visit, stay longer and spend more”.  

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Noel Williams said:

“As Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, I am delighted to welcome Tourism NI to our Borough and I’m very proud to highlight our wonderful businesses and attractions locally.  Council is committed to the ongoing expansion of businesses and today provided the opportunity for us to showcase our plans to support tourism going forward.  

“From the rugged Antrim Coast to Carrickfergus Castle to the beautiful villages and vibrant towns – Mid and East Antrim has something for all to enjoy.  Visitors can embrace our many open spaces and stunning scenery in places such as The Gobbins, Slemish, Portglenone Marina and Carnfunnock Country Park.  If Museums and arts is your thing, we have the fantastic Whitehead Railway Museum plus the historic US Rangers Centre.

“I urge everyone to come and see what our vibrant Borough has to offer – taking the scenic route of course!”

Helen McGorman, Tourism Ireland added; “I was delighted to visit some of the exciting tourism experiences in the Mid and East Antrim Borough and to hear about their plans for expansion. This area includes ‘must see’ attractions for overseas visitors to Northern Ireland, particularly those with an interest in history. The Andrew Jackson Cottage and US Rangers Centre, Blackhead Lighthouse, Whitehead Railway Museum and Gobbins Cliff Path tell stories of our rich history and are in close proximity to the beautiful County Antrim coastline. The Tourism Ireland teams around the world will be excited to learn more about these attractions.”

Tina Calder