The East Border Region Tourism Partnership (EBRTP) is a cross-border partnership comprising eight local authorities which straddle the border region. The Partnership, which formed a tourism working group in 2003, has been working towards the formulation of a regional cross-border tourism strategy. Members of the East Border Region Committee meet regularly to identify potential strategic tourism priorities.
The primary aim of the East Border Region Tourism Partnership is to identify cross-border tourism priorities that will enhance the economic potential of tourism throughout the entire region. Despite its natural assets, the East Border Region is underperforming as a tourism destination with the border being recognised as the main barrier. The primary aims of the Partnership are to:
- Raise the profile of the region to international visitor markets;
- Encourage visitors to stay longer in the region;
- Focus on targeted product development and enhanced visitor servicing;
- Attract higher spend visitors and to maximise their contribution to the economy of the region;
- Exploit the tourism potential of the region by more effective cross-border co-operation to maximise impact and reduce duplication.
These aims will be delivered through the following key strategic themes:
- Activity based tourism
- Christian heritage
- Village enhancement
- Walking and cycling
- Events and festivals
- Visitor servicing strategy
The East Border Region Tourism Partnership hopes to deliver a number of innovative cross-border, themed based tourism projects during the period 2004-2008. This Partnership is innovative because this is the first time that such a cross-border grouping has ever come together to deliver a wide range of collective actions and projects. Its work will have a major positive impact on the region's tourism. The overall aim is to increase the contribution tourism makes to the economy of the region and this will be achieved by delivering a co-ordinated programme of actions, which will greatly strengthen the tourism product as a whole.
Responsibilities and Targets
The strategic actions falling under the six themes include:
- Activity-Based Tourism: Create 1 equestrian trail, 2 disabled angling platforms, 1 canoe steps and 2 watersports marina/harbour facilities;
- Village enhancement: Provide 1 performing bandstand, upgrade 3 public parks and 2 townscapes;
- Walking and Cycling: Upgrade and restore 7 new routes;
- Christian Heritage: Improve access to 5 sites;
- Festivals and Events: Support 7 events/festivals and create 2 new events
- Visitor Servicing: Develop and implement a state-of-the-art, multi media/information technology project located at key strategic tourism sites and selected points of entry into the region, which will promote the entire cross-border region.
The East Border Region Tourism Partnership has secured grant aid at a rate of 75% from the Interreg IIIA Programme to the total of ª2.62 million to deliver its programme. Banbridge District Council has delivered a new performing bandstand in Scarva and continues to support a new and annual event ‘Buskfest' under the programme. The visitor servicing project was also completed in January 2006.
Ards Borough Council, Armagh City & District Council, Banbridge District Council, Craigavon Borough Council, Down District Council, Louth Local Authorities, Monaghan County Council and Newry and Mourne District Council.
Banbridge District Council
Civic Building, Downshire Road, Banbridge, Co. Down BT32 3JY
T: 028 4066 0609
F: 028 4066 0601