Canadian Government should amend “Beirut-like” information on UK travel

East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell has written to the Foreign Affairs Minister in Canada regarding visitor information content on the Canadian Government website about what visitors might expect in the United Kingdom generally and Northern Ireland in particular. He has also raised it with the Foreign Secretary James Cleverly.

By Gregory Campbell MP

East Londonderry

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The DUP MP said, “Were someone to base their travel decisions solely on information available on the Canadian Government website they might come to the impression that the United Kingdom is a strife torn nation where crime is rampant and visitors take their life into their hands venturing out onto the streets. Beirut during its dark days would’ve got a similar write up!

Many people in Canada have family and historical ties with Northern Ireland and the section of this site specifically dealing with Northern Ireland is similarly simplistic and inaccurate. A claim that “Protestant parades through predominantly Catholic neighbourhoods may occur from April to August” is little more than misinformation giving tourists a completely wrong message.

Loyal Order parades across Northern Ireland are underutilised in terms of their tourism potential. This year the type of goodwill and accommodation which happens on countless occasions was evident again. There are also parades from a nationalist background which pass through Protestant/unionist areas with similar goodwill. Northern Ireland doesn’t need more disinformation spread about the nature of parades here.

Advice to travellers should be factual and useful. Unfortunately this information is neither and I would hope the UK Government will work with their counterparts in Canda to provide a more accurate and valuable picture to the many people who would seek to visit the UK, and in particular to Northern Ireland.”

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