Derry at heart of north’s 2012 tourism push

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Derry will this year be at the heart of a major tourism drive designed to showcase the north to the rest of the wrold.

‘ni2012; our time, our place’ is a programme of commemorations and celebrations taking place across the north this year.

Ruth Burns of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board says the next twelve months will be a chance to both celebrate a number of key events - including the Peace One Day concert, the Clipper race homecoming leg and the Peace Camp, a major living artwork to be unveiled in Derry.

“With so many big events, celebrations, commemorations and amazing projects coming to completion, 2012 is going to offer everyone an opportunity to explore their own town, city and country and celebrate some world-class events taking place in Northern Ireland,” said Ruth.

“Whether it’s music, theatre, festivals, comedy, tours or exhibitions, there’s going to be something to whet everyone’s appetite.

“We’re hoping to capture everyone’s imagination and inspire them to join in the celebrations of our amazing country.”

Massive Attack will headline the Peace One Day concert at Ebrington on June 21 and will kick-off events for the UK-wide London 2012 Festival, the finale of the four year Cultural Olympiad which complements the sports at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

In July the Peace Camp, created by renowned opera and theatre director Deborah Warner in collaboration with the actor Fiona Shaw and creative producer Artichoke, will be unveiled while also in July the Clipper Round The World Yacht race will make its homecoming leg from Nova Scotia to Derry.

Meanwhile tourism minister Arlene Foster says Derry’s year as cultural capital in tandem with Belfast’s hosting of the World Police and Fire Games, could help spawn more than 3500 jobs.

“These events will help generate significant interest in Northern Ireland and why overseas visitors should choose to come here.

“Initial estimates are that collectively 2012 and 2013, and their legacies, could generate an additional 833,000 visitors, £140million spend and 3,570 jobs over the next four years,” she says.