Business

Connectivity is key for hospitality sector

More people out and about on the Northwest Causeway Coast in Portrush over the bank holiday weekend. Picture by Justin Kernoghan/Photopress
More people out and about on the Northwest Causeway Coast in Portrush over the bank holiday weekend. Picture by Justin Kernoghan/Photopress It’s no secret that this small corner of Western Europe boasts a unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and importantly, warm hospitality, including at places like the north coast

From the Causeway coastline to the lakes of Fermanagh, it’s no secret that this small corner of Western Europe boasts a unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and importantly, warm hospitality.

We are more than aware that we are situated on an island, off a larger island, in the Atlantic Ocean and that means we are not as connected like other places and rely heavily on good connectivity for work, family ties and tourism.

Whilst levels of connectivity ebb and flow as events take hold and market forces dictate, we should not take it for granted, or always assume it will be there. This applies to both providers in the private and public sector, across everything from ferries, planes, taxis, buses and trains.

Connectivity is something we need to work at and always improve. Due to our unique geographic circumstances, we need more of it. Greater connectivity encourages growth in our economy, unlocking the full potential of our hospitality, tourism, and retail businesses for example. More people, doing more things, creates more opportunity.



We need to make sure that we can get people to this part of the world, and when they get here, we can get them around the place so that they can see and do more, maximising spend.

That’s an easy statement to make and far more difficult to deliver, but one thing is for certain, we need to support those who play a key role in making more effective connectivity happen.

It is those who connect – the airports, ports, taxis, and public transport alike - that need to be supported in their endeavours and the running of their individual businesses so that we are prepared to grasp those greater opportunities.

Hospitality Ulster chief executive Colin Neill. Picture by Press Eye/Darren Kidd
Hospitality Ulster chief executive Colin Neill. Picture by Press Eye/Darren Kidd Hospitality Ulster chief executive Colin Neill. Picture by Press Eye/Darren Kidd

More people coming off ferries, enhanced air route networks and greater transport links with greater frequency are some of the specific key elements that we need to get right to increase the number of visitors so that everyone will benefit. The hospitality sector has much to gain.

Recent statements by various ministers at the Assembly and wider events prove that there is a real drive now to make this place work better.

One way in which we can open ourselves up to the world is to listen to what those involved have to say. Better connectivity, increased capacity and greater frequency across our region will benefit us all.

  • Colin Neill is chief executive of Hospitality Ulster