New Tourism Innovation Fund Announced

Up to £100,000 available for innovative visitor experience projects.

Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster today launched a new Tourism Innovation Fund designed to drive the creation of memorable and unique visitor experiences in Northern Ireland.

Administered by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, the fund will provide up to £100,000 of financial support to projects that offer unique experiences and services that will appeal to prospective visitors.

Top class destination

Commenting on the scheme, Arlene Foster said: “Outstanding visitor experiences that people talk about when they go home are crucial to the future success of our local tourism industry.

“By understanding what the market wants and creating the right tourist attractions and experiences, we can satisfy our visitors’ expectations, ensuring they spread the word about Northern Ireland being a top class tourist destination and ultimately grow our market share.

“This fund will offer local tourism businesses and organisations the potential to grow their projects through innovation and collaboration. The tourism sector here is growing and with it brings real opportunity to develop the economy and boost jobs, therefore I would urge anyone who thinks they might benefit from the fund to apply.”

Easy Process

The Tourism Innovation Fund will provide financial assistance from £20,000 up to a maximum of £100,000 for qualifying projects. The application form is simple and features an easy four step process. The fund has been provided through the Northern Ireland Executive’s Economy and Jobs Initiative Strategy.

The fund invites applications from projects in four categories:

  • Innovative visitor servicing initiatives;
  • Visitor experience initiatives;
  • Research and development; and
  • Projects that will provide international recognition for Northern Ireland, including the use of social and digital media channels.

Stimulate Innovation

Susie McCullough, NITB Director of Business Tourism and Events, said: “The aim of the Innovation Fund is to enhance the growth, quality, competitiveness and sustainability of tourism in Northern Ireland. We want to further stimulate innovative product development and improve the visitor experience on the ground.

“I am delighted that we are delivering a funding mechanism that can make a real difference to local businesses, the public sector and third sector organisations. It will directly impact upon the visitor experience in a positive way. I encourage as many organisations as possible to find out more about how it can help their project.”

How to apply

The Tourism Innovation Fund is now open for applications and will close at 12 noon on Friday 11 July 2014. Guidance on the fund and application forms are available at or for further information e-mail or call the tourism innovation fund team on 028 90 441555 or 028 90 441569.

Roadshows will be held across Northern Ireland to provide more details on the fund. Find more information on the Tourism Innovation Fund roadshows.