Business

Giant's Causeway provides £484m boost to Northern Ireland economy

The Giant's Causeway generated almost half a billion pounds in revenue for the local economy last year
Gareth McKeown

THE Giant's Causeway generated almost half a billion pounds for the local economy last year, according to new figures.

A University of Ulster economic and social impact report commissioned by the National Trust has revealed that the UNESCO World Heritage delivered a total of £484.26 million in 2017.

Welcoming visitors from over 160 countries around the world, the report found that the average spend per tourist staying in the area is £420, making a tangible economic impact on businesses locally.

The north's leading tourist attraction and one of the most popular on the island of Ireland, the Giant's Causeway attracted over one million visitors last year.

However, the benefits extend beyond the site, with the economy profiting from tourism expenditure on accommodation; food and drink; shopping and transport in the local area.

The tourist attraction employs 75 full-time staff, with the figure increasing significantly during peak season, while it generates over £1.5m annually in wages.

Max Bryant, north coast general manager for the National Trust said the report shines a light on the important role the Giant's Causeway plays both economically and socially in Northern Ireland.

“Whilst domestic visitor numbers have plateaued at around 150,000, we are seeing a continuous increase in overseas visitors," he said.

"The US market remains the strongest followed by the Great Britain market, however we have experienced an increase of 292 per cent in Chinese visitors over the past four years which has together played a significant role in boosting the contribution of tourism to the local area."

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