Over 80 distinguished guests from the District's tourist industry gathered on Tuesday at Banbridge Gateway Tourist Information Centre to celebrate its 10th Birthday.
The occasion also marked the official re-opening of the centre, having recently been refurbished to make better use of its retail space and improve its presentation.
The Guest of Honour was Tom McGrath, Chairman of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.
Councillor Seamus Doyle, Vice-Chairman of Banbridge District Council said "Since it first opened to the public in July 1993, the Council managed Banbridge Gateway Tourist Information Centre has been a major economic assest to the area and a showcase of service excellence.
"We are very proud of this facility, which has continued to provide a wider and much improved range of visitor services, to over 130,000 customers from 40 countries during the last ten years.
The Council fully acknowledges the important role it plays not only for local tourism but also for Northern Ireland as a whole, being so strategically placed on the main access route into Northern Ireland.
"It presents us with a great opportunity to intercept and influence visitors who otherwise may just by-pass the District."
Mr Tom McGrath, Chairman of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board added, "The Banbridge Gateway Centre has provided a warm welcome to Northern Ireland for thousands of visitors in the last ten years.
"I am delighted that Banbridge District Council is marking the anniversary and that it is upgrading the Centre to ensure that its high standards continue into the future."
During the event Councillor Seamus Doyle presented the proprietor of Golfkeel Self Catering Cottages, John O'Neill with a special plaque to congratulate him on his acheivement in the 2002 NI Tourism Awards.
It was awarded 'Best Self Catering Establishment of the Year'.
The Banbridge Tourist Information Centre remains the only such facility, which lies directly on the main Dublin to Belfast trunk road to service visitors arriving in Northern Ireland from the Republic of Ireland.
It occupies a 2 acre site at the southern access to Banbridge Town fro the main A1 and cost (10 years ago) £500,000 to construct with considerable grant assistance from the European Regional Development Fund.
Not only does it provide information on the local Banbridge area it also serves as a major regional information centre for the whole of County Down and the rest of Northern Ireland.
In addition to providing comprehensive visitor information, the centre also acts as a 'one stop shop' for a wide range of other visitor requirements.
The complex also houses a popular self service restaurant (En Route Cafe), a gift shop, a genealogy and heritage service, a childrens play area, touring caravan and camping park, picnic tables, full toilet and shower facilities and provides a secretarial and fax service, Bureau de Change, accommodation reservations, as well as email and internet access for visitors.
The centre will continue to celebrate its 10th Birthday during the summer months with further events planned for the end of June 2003.
It is open all year round and in the summer months is open seven days per week for 10 hours each day (9.00am to 7.00pm).
It sustains 12 full-time and part-time jobs.