Visit Belfast Chief Executive Gerry Lennon said:

“The easing of restrictions brings welcome optimism for the tourism and hospitality industry. Importantly, the provision of reopening dates gives businesses time to plan ahead, as well as the promise of a full summer season in which to welcome visitors and customers back.

“Whilst Visit Belfast has been hard at work throughout keeping Belfast front-of-mind among our audiences far and wide, we look forward now to rolling out our tourism marketing and sales plans to support city and region economic recovery.

“With an extensive range of quality and award winning tourism products and experiences, Belfast is well-placed to recover its visitor markets as we move forward from the devastating effects of this pandemic.

“Our sales and marketing plans place a greater emphasis than ever on the importance of sustainability, growth of neighbourhood tourism and industry collaboration, and we are confident that tourism’s economic contribution to the city region will return to 2019 levels by 2024.”