Derry’s record breaking St Patrick’s Day celebrations reflect the city’s growing status as an exciting tourism destination, it’s been claimed.
Derry City Council said the city had a record number of visitors - more than 30,000 - over the three day celebrations - and hotel occupancy rates, which peaked at 92% last Saturday, were well above average,
Derry City Council’s Head of Economic Development, Linda Williams said the city is now reaping the benefits of the City of Culture year.
“Last year our City of Culture status meant Derry had the opportunity to showcase its ability to stage world class events such as the Fleadh and Lumiere, and we are reaping the benefits this year as many return to enjoy the warmth of our hospitality. Last year we had around 10,000 people and we anticipated that we would have around 15 or 18,000 and are absolutely delighted that we achieved treble that number over the three-days.
“This year’s programme was extended to include even more family events, and of course we were thrilled to welcome top names such as Rachel Allen and Neven Maguire to the Legenderry Food Festival, which saw a phenomenal attendance over the three days. I want to thank everyone who worked so hard to deliver such a memorable weekend.”
Meanwhile the City Hotel and Derry Visitor and Convention Bureau were among the exhibitors at a tourism trade show held in Birmingham earlier this week aimed at promoting the north as a travel destination.
Vanessa Markey, Tourism Ireland’s head of Great Britain said the UK is “one of our largest markets and 2013 saw a welcome return to growth of +5.6% in GB visitors.”
“We are targeting new audiences, including an older audience wishing to explore new places and broaden their minds (called ‘culturally curious’) and the younger, fun-loving set, who are looking for an exciting time in a vibrant destination,” she said.