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Economy Minister launches Experience Development Programme for tourism providers

Pictured with Minister at Castle Ward in Co. Down are Michele Shirlow, Tourism NI Board member and Brian Connolly of Tourism NI

Economy Minister Diane Dodds has launched Tourism NI’s new programme to provide financial assistance to help support tourism providers in creating experiences that reflect the new Northern Ireland Embrace A Giant Spirit experience brand and stimulate demand for local tourism.

With capital grants up to £200,000, the programme will help tourism experience providers develop new and enhanced tourism offerings that will support recovery and growth.

The programme will also allow for up to 80% funding for private/voluntary sector organisations and up to 50% for public sector towards eligible costs of implementing these enhancements. The maximum amount of grant funding available under this programme for any one project is £200,000.

Commenting on the new programme, Economy Minister Diane Dodds said:

“Northern Ireland is one of the most beautiful places on earth, it offers experiences that live long in the memory and its people are among the most welcoming around. Covid-19 does not, and will not, change these facts.

“This programme will help our tourism sector capitalise on these essential assets. It will connect more providers with the customers they need and give more tourists the opportunity to enjoy the Northern Ireland experience. I encourage all forward-thinking, innovative providers to consider applying.”

Markets and Product Experiences Development Officer at Tourism NI, Brian Connolly, said:

“The launch of this new Experience Development Programme comes at a critical period for the survival and recovery of many tourism businesses across Northern Ireland. The programme will help tourism providers develop new and attractive experiences that excite visitors to explore all that Northern Ireland has to offer. These experiences will also be in line with the new Northern Ireland Embrace A Giant Spirit experience brand.”

“We welcome application proposals that bring new and innovative ways to deliver business safely during the pandemic, enhance the visitor experience, support demand and increase consumer confidence. Covid-19 has had a profound impact on the tourism sector, and through this new programme we want to support tourism experience providers in their journey to recovery.”

The programme will focus on attractions and other experience providers.

For full details of eligibility criteria and information on how to apply for the programme, please visit:


Closing date for applications is 25th September at 3pm.