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Hamilton announces new £80k business competition for tourism

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Economy Minister Simon Hamilton today announced a new £80k Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition to develop innovative, real time tourism technology solutions.

The SBRI competition is seeking technology solutions to encourage visitors to explore more, do more and spend more during their visit to Northern Ireland.

The Minister said: “The Executive has identified tourism as a key growth industry. Tourism represents 5.2% of Northern Ireland’s gross domestic product and supports 5.4% of jobs in the total workforce.

“It is important that we continue to grow the sector and increase visitor spend. This competition will help to ensure we make better use of technology and data to help improve the quality and timeliness of information supplied to visitors.

“This is the fifth competition funded under the Executive’s SBRI Challenge Fund.  So far we have seen the SBRI Challenge fund support competitions in areas as diverse as medicines adherence and waste remediation. I look forward to seeing new tourism products and services developed as a result.”

Tourism Northern Ireland has identified that a well-informed visitor explores more, spends more and has a better experience. Through this competition Tourism Northern Ireland wishes to extract real time (or near real time) data to supplement official statistics that will provide indicators of visitor’s movements around Northern Ireland, spend and satisfaction with their experience.

Tourism Northern Ireland Chief Executive John McGrillen said:  “We are keen to find new solutions to encourage visitors to explore more, do more and spend more during their visit to Northern Ireland.  In addition, to the information which Tourism Northern Ireland holds we aware that there are many other sources of both private and commercial information including social media and tourism booking providers that potentially can form part of an innovative solution.”

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