Gobbins to be ‘game changer’ for tourism

(file photo) The tubular bridge section of the Gobbins cliff path is lowered into place.  INLT 44-676-CON

(file photo) The tubular bridge section of the Gobbins cliff path is lowered into place. INLT 44-676-CON

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The Northern Ireland Tourism Board says that the new Gobbins Cliff Path will be a “game changer” for tourism on the East Coast .

The cliff path, which was built in 1902, attracted more visitors than the Giant’s Causeway in its heyday .

However, the three-quarter mile route has been closed to the public since 1954 after falling into disrepair.

After a £6 million restoration project carried out by McLaughlin&Harvey, Chief Executive of Larne Borough Council Geraldine McGahey has said that she would like to see the Gobbins opened and operational by the end of March 2015.

A spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Tourist Board described The Gobbins as a “key product” in its promotional campaign.

The spokesperson stated: “The Causeway Coast and Glens is a tourist route that links the East Antrim Coast right along to the North West.

“From early on we have recognised the potential of this project to be a game-changer for tourism along the Eastern coastline.”

“The Gobbins are a key product that will soon form a central part of promotional efforts linked to the Causeway Coast and Glens area, and Northern Ireland as a whole.

“The Northern Ireland Tourist Board has championed the development of the Gobbins as a visitor attraction and is one of a number of partners providing financial assistance.”

The NITB confirmed that it would work with the new Mid and East Antrim supercouncil on future promotional efforts, and revealed plans for a marketing campaign to boost the profile of the site.

The spokesperson continued: “NITB has been working closely with Larne Borough Council to help position and promote the Gobbins as a key new visitor experience on the Causeway Coastal Route and we will continue to work alongside the new East Antrim Council.

“As well as funding the project we will include the Gobbins in a range of marketing activity across advertising, online, print and PR in the lead up to opening and post opening.

“The Gobbins is part of the Coasts and Lakes tourism theme identified by NITB to focus on the strengths of Northern Ireland’s natural assets connected to water.

“We have also produced practical guides and toolkits to equip the tourism industry to create experiences using this theme.

“This will further benefit the development of the Gobbins and help attract more visitors.”