Economy Minister, Simon Hamilton has congratulated Ryan Fox on winning the Northern Ireland Open.
Speaking after the winner’s presentation Minister Hamilton said: “I would like to congratulate Ryan Fox on his magnificent achievement in winning the Tayto Northern Ireland Open.
“The event, hosted by the Galgorm Castle Golf Club, has been an outstanding success. I want to commend everyone involved in organising the tournament and associated food festival.”
Minister Hamilton added: “Tourism Northern Ireland's investment in this European Challenge Tour event further helps boost our golfing profile. The number of spectators here are increasing year on year bringing economic benefits to both Ballymena and the wider region. ”
The Minister concluded: “Tourism is an essential part of the Northern Ireland economy and my aim is to continue to develop the industry with golf tourism playing a major part in achieving this objective. The successes of our home-grown players, the top quality courses and the delivery of a superb championship like the Tayto Northern Ireland Open clearly demonstrates our superb golf offering and help to boost worldwide profile of Northern Ireland.
“With 2016 being the Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink the food festival has been a great opportunity to showcase the quality of the local artisan produce available on our doorstep whilst helping visitors sample some of our world renowned hospitality on an international stage. Our excellence in food and drink production was highlighted once again this week with our outstanding results in the prestigious UK Great Taste Awards. Thirteen local products from eight companies were awarded the highest accolade of three gold stars for their products with 84 local companies securing almost 303 gold stars in total. Food tourism generates over £350 million per year to the local economy and there is significant room for further growth in this area.”
Further information on the Northern Ireland Open can be found at: http://www.niopen.golf/
Notes to editors:
1. The NI Open ran from Thursday 28 July to Sunday 31 July.
2. For press enquiries please contact DfE Press Office on tel: 028 9052 9604. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.
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