Derry’s year as City of Culture is at the heart of a drive to keep the tourism spotlight on the north, Stormont’s tourism minister has said.
Arlene Foster, as well as representatives from Derry’s Culture Company, is currently showcasing the city at the World Travel Market (WTM) in London.
Ms Foster said: “World Travel Market attracts almost 50,000 representatives of the industry from around the globe and business worth around £1.6 billion was transacted at the event last year. It is only right, therefore, that Northern Ireland’s tourism offering is put front and centre at the event, particularly with Londonderry being the UK City of Culture in 2013.”
Nine tourism enterprises from Northern Ireland – including Culture Company 2013, hotels, visitor attractions, a ferry company and regional tourism organisations – are exhibiting at the Tourism Ireland stand, which provides an invaluable platform for the participating companies to network, negotiate and exchange vital contracts for 2013.
The Minister added: “With over 200 countries all vying for business at the WTM this week, it is important that we stand out from the crowd and capture the attention of the influential global media and travel trade in attendance.
“2012 has been a spectacular year for tourism in Northern Ireland with much more to come next year. Titanic Belfast, the Irish Open, the inaugural Beckett Festival in Fermanagh and a new visitors’ centre at the Giant’s Causeway are just a few of the remarkable highlights of a year to remember.
“Next year promises to be just as exciting. Londonderry is preparing to become the UK City of Culture and is set to roll out a wonderful programme of events, and Belfast will host the World Police and Fire Games. The next 12 months will provide more opportunities to put Northern Ireland in the global spotlight for all the right reasons, giving tourists from GB and across the world even more reasons to want to come and visit.”