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Economy Minister Diane Dodds has urged people to holiday at home this year and said this will provide a much-needed boost to Northern Ireland’s tourism industry.

Tourism NI’s new ‘A small step to a giant adventure’ campaign is encouraging people across Northern Ireland to plan staycations ahead of the indicative reopening date for the hospitality sector of 24 May.

Minister Dodds said: “There is so much beautiful nature, scenic surroundings and epic adventures right on our doorsteps in Northern Ireland.

“People can sleep under the stars in County Fermanagh, trek in the relatively untouched Sperrin Mountains in County Tyrone, walk beside the waves in Causeway Coast and Glens or take in the tastes and sounds of Belfast city centre.

“There are plenty of experiences for the entire family to enjoy which will also provide vital support to our much valued local tourism industry.”

John McGrillen, chief executive of Tourism NI, said: “'We are all excited at the prospect of enjoying all that Northern Ireland has to offer this summer.

“We are so proud of our tourism industry and the people who help make Northern Ireland such a special place. They have been central to our journey to becoming a global destination and we cannot wait to support them as their doors begin to reopen.

“Our tourism industry will be ready and very keen to welcome the public back when it is safe to do so.”

The Tourism NI campaign is running across TV, radio, outdoor, press, PR, social and digital.

Minister Dodds recently released further details on the Holiday at Home Voucher Scheme which will be launched in the autumn to drive demand after the summer season. It will allow Northern Ireland households to claim back 50% off a stay of two nights or more in certified accommodation, up to the value of £100.

Vouchers will also be issued, offering 50% off visits to attractions or tourism experience providers, up to the value of £20.

Vouchers will be allocated on a first come first served basis and each household can apply for one of each type of voucher.

The ‘We’re Good to Go’ mark is Northern Ireland’s industry standard for tourism and hospitality businesses which are committed to operating safely.