Statement from Hospitality Ulster on Belfast City Council Sunday Retail Trading Hours Decision

Statement from Hospitality Ulster on Belfast City Council Sunday Retail Trading Hours Decision

22 May 2017

Speaking after today’s decision by Belfast City Council not to grant extended retail opening hours to Belfast on a Sunday, Colin Neill, Chief Executive of Hospitality Ulster said:

"We are extremely disappointed in this decision not to extend retail trading hours on a Sunday on limited days to Belfast" 

"This stymies the development of the weekend Belfast tourism offer. The hospitality industry was extremely supportive of extending retail opening hours on a Sunday. Seemingly this was not taken into account by Belfast City Council.

What we needed today was a vote in support of our tourist and hospitality industry, which would strengthen our offering and bring clear economic benefits to Belfast."

Michael Stewart, Chair of Hospitality Ulster’s Belfast region said:

"We are absolutely opposed to this decision. This is bad news for Belfast and it makes no sense. The hospitality industry is already operating under restricted opening hours on Sundays.

Had the decision been taken to extend the opening hours, it would have created more footfall into Belfast’s hotels, restaurants and bars, bringing more people to the city and clearly have increased trade.

Belfast city is trying to showcase itself as a tourist hub and just recently we have had media reports that tourists in the city on Sundays are bemused at the restricted opening hours. This decision is not sensible and is anti-business."