Northern Ireland news

Co Down hotel loses booking worth almost £10,000 due to rioting on Eleventh night

A group of 75 US tourists cancelled a booking at the Strangford Arms Hotel in Newtownards due to rioting in the town on the Eleventh night
John Monaghan

A HOTEL in Co Down has said it lost a booking worth almost £10,000 after a group of US tourists cancelled due to Eleventh night rioting by loyalists.

A group of 75 Americans decided against staying at the Strangford Arms Hotel in Newtownards on July 13 and 14.

They pulled out just a day after masked men hijacked a bus at gunpoint in the West Winds estate in the town during disturbances in which tyres were also set on fire outside a care home.

Passengers and the driver were ordered off the bus by the masked men, who then set fire to the vehicle.

Guy Metcalfe, the owner of the hotel, said he had tried unsuccessfully to assure the visitors that the incidents were "isolated".

"It has been a huge blow for us. Not only is there a cost to our business, but to the whole community as well," he told the Newtownards Chronicle.

"They still decided to cancel their entire booking. Their critical reaction team felt it was too dangerous for them to come to Northern Ireland."

Due to the late cancellation, he said he was unable to resell the rooms.

DUP MP for Strangford, Jim Shannon, said that the "mindless activities of a small group have ruined a trip for American tourists and have taken away business from the constituency".

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