New tech helps tourism leaders capture visitor trends in Co Down

  • Tourism NI has recently deployed sensors to monitor footfall traffic across Northern Ireland’s most visited outdoor locations in Co Down.

    The initiative has been developed in partnership with Mourne Heritage Trust, Newry, Mourne and Down Council and local technology firm, Kinsetsu.

    The sensors are situated across the Mourne Mountains and Slieve Gullion in key sites including Castlewellan Forest Park and Kilbroney Park.

    The devices allow Kinsetsu to provide Tourism NI wih its software platform Ktrack, enabling them to view and make decisions with current and historical visitor numbers.

    The data captured from the sensors feeds into an analytics dashboard, providing a real-time and real-world view of visitor numbers at each location.

    In addition, remote access weather stations provide live data on weather conditions at sites including Slieve Gullion, Silent Valley and the high Mournes.

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    Claire Cromie, Tourism NI’s Digital Programme Manager said: “This has been an exciting project to deliver with our local partners in the Newry Mourne and Down area along with Kinsetsu who are best known for developing cutting-edge technology solutions.

    "We started this project in Derry~Londonderry as a pilot where we deployed sensors around the Derry Walls. As a result of the pilot and the demand for outdoor activities, it was evident that the data captured was beneficial for local authorities and all partners in the tourism ecosystem.”

    “We are also engaging with our stakeholders to explore how Tourism NI’s data analysis can be used to inform decision making and visitor management as sustainability becomes of increasing importance across the destination," she added.

    "As we continue to recover, we also need to be mindful about the number of people gathering to popular outdoor locations.”

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    The technology is intended to minimise any adverse impacts of growing numbers of visitors and to ensure people have an enjoyable experience. 

    "The data will also inform habitat management as we seek to make the landscape more resilient to climate change and plan recovery from events like the recent landscape fire on Slieve Donard," added Martin Carey, CEO of Mourne Heritage Trust.

    Limited staff resources will also no longer be needed to manually download vistor counts from sites.

    For more information on how Tourism NI can support businesses visit:

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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