Northern Ireland’s hoteliers and restaurateurs are hoping that the peace deal will be ratified when the Irish public cast their votes on22 May.

They believe that the North would see a return to the figures enjoyed during the first ceasefire, when business increased by 56% and visitor numbers from south of the border jumped by 155%.

It is estimated that 20,000 new jobs would need to be filled in the North’s tourism trade if peace were cemented.

Jim McDaid, the South’s tourism minister, has just launched a IR£1m marketing campaign for his native Donegal which although it is in the Republic is immediatelyadjacent to Northern Ireland and geographically part of Ulster.

A joint marketing campaign for the entire northern coast of Ireland could be launched quite quickly, industry insiders said, and would be part of the plans for co-operation between North and South.

A new parades commission has also been set up to oversee the summer marching season where the spin-off tension has been causing nervous tourists to stay away.

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