Kieran McCarthy MLA said: “Northern Ireland has amazing scenery, fantastic hospitality and vibrant culture. We have massive potential in the area of tourism and I am pleased that this study has shown that by 2020 this sector could contribute £1 billion to our economy.
“To make the most of our tourism industry we need to protect our natural environment to safeguard our wildlife and scenery. Alliance has long campaigned for an independent Environmental Protection Agency and such a move would be important in terms of protecting our countryside.
“We need to continue make Northern Ireland as attractive a destination as possible and continue to show the world we are open for tourism. That means creating a shared society here. We must end division in our society to protect the peace that people have worked to so hard to build.
“It is also important that we continue to work to grow our skills base to help us reach our potential in tourism as well as in other sectors of the economy. Northern Ireland is seen as a great place to come on holiday and I hope that we can, as this study suggests, achieve strong growth in this area.”