Recent research by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) has established that visitors do not simply want to see things but they want to be more engaged and want to immerse themselves in the places they visit and feel something from these places, they want to be touched by the stories of the people and actively participate in culture and community.  There is a desire, therefore, to shift the focus from selling a ‘product’ to selling authentic experiences of the area.  NITB has devised 5 core experience themes.

The 5 Key Experience Themes:

•     Living Legends - making our history, legend & stories alive and interactive (e.g. Narnia Trail, The Smuggler’s Head public art piece at the Bloody Bridge)

•     Coasts and Lakes - turning our coast and waterways into unique global destination experiences (e.g. Castlewellan Lake, Carlingford Lough, Dundrum Bay)

•     Unique Outdoors - becoming a distinct outdoor recreation and adventure playground (e.g. walking, cycling, mountain biking, kayaking, bouldering, climbing, horse-riding)

•     Culture and Creative Vibe – promoting contemporary & vibrant NI experiences (e.g. local fairs, storytelling)

•     Naturally NI – experiencing local culture through nature.   Examples include living landscapes, wonderful wildlife, local food & produce, cookery schools, speciality restaurants, distilleries, linen, gardens, wildlife, genealogy, open farms, rural arts and crafts or markets and fairs.

We would be interested in hearing your opinions.  What in your opinion are the Mourne’s best ‘experiences’ or how can we use our many assets to best provide a Mourne ‘experience’ to our visitors?   If you have any ideas please email mandy.mcavoy@mourne.co.uk.