Tourism body AGM reports record growth

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Derry hotel room sales are up 26%, tourism bosses have revealed.

The figure was revealed at the Derry Visitor and Convention Bureau’s (DVCB) AGM at the Guildhall on Wednesday.

Odhran Dunne, DVCB Interim Chief Executive said 2013 has been the busiest year for the organisation since it was established in 1996.

“The phenomenal lead into 2013 with accolades coming from all corners of the globe had given visitors captivating reasons to visit.

“These included The Lonely Planet proclaiming Derry as one of the top cities in the world to visit in 2013; other such endorsements were received from United Airlines, British Airways, Late Rooms, Sydney Morning Herald and the Irish Times. The positive PR and media coverage generated for the destination at trade and consumer shows nationally and internationally has been integral to the success of 2013,” he said.

Mr Dunne stated whilst 2012 was comparable to 2011, 2013 was on course to deliver a remarkable boost for the tourism sector.

Derry’s Mayor Martin Reilly said: “The city’s tourism performance has reached record levels with a 26% increase in hotel room sales to date this year ensuring that more people are overnight in the city and subsequently increasing the economic impact on the tourism economy.

“This year’s events as part of City of Culture including One Big Weekend, Return of Colmcille, the All Ireland Fleadh, Walled City Tattoo and the many cultural and sporting events hosted by the city have delivered a major increase in tourist numbers. In addition, our public realm developments, restored heritage buildings, the 400th anniversary of the iconic City Walls and our cultural and arts infrastructural development have advanced our unique tourism product offering.

“As Mayor I listen to the comments of visitors on a daily basis and they provide positive feedback on the cleanliness of the city, the friendliness of the people, our history and culture. This inspires a new era of confidence in the city as these new ambassadors tell the world about our unique and LegenDerry experience. I congratulate DVCB and partner agencies who continue to work fervently to establish the city as a must see European city destination and hope 2013 continues to act as a catalyst for future growth in the sector,” he said.