‘Rent-a-room’ scheme proposed

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Sinn Féin councillor Maeve McLaughlin has said accommodation for the City of Culture celebrations could be provided by local people renting rooms to visitors.

Colr. McLaughlin called on Derry City Council to consider implementing a ‘rent-a-room’ scheme, similar to those which exist in other European countries.

“With the number of major events being promoted for Derry during the City of Culture celebrations next year I believe that we need to be imaginative in our approach to all aspects of planning including accommodation,” she said.

“While there are a number of applications being processed for Hotel accommodation and we have a number of B&Bs and Hostels I believe that there is a category of tourist that would be interested in the less formal experience of staying with a family. I would suggest that Council in partnership with tourism bodies such as Tourism Ireland and NITB should explore the Rent-a-Room model which has been used in other areas of Europe. Not only would it cater for such tourists but it would offer local families an opportunity to generate additional income while injecting much needed finance into the local economy.

“It would of course require stringent regulation and standards of approval. A register of approved room rentals would need to be compiled and promoted under the City of Culture brand,” she said.