Tourism chief in Derry city tour

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The North’s tourist board chief has joined with staff from local hospitality businesses in a tour of Derry’s sights.

The educational guided tour for hotel and bed and breakfast staff - accompanied by Northern Ireland Tourist Board Chief Executive Alan Clarke - was led by Martin McCrossan from City Tours on Tuesday night.

Mr Clarke said he was “delighted” to get a first hand flavour for the City of Culture 2013. “I was delighted to take a walking tour of Derry~Londonderry and get a first-hand experience of all the great things to see and do in this great city which lived up to its reputation as a creative and innovative place to visit.” He added: “The City of Culture 2013 title offers the opportunity to increase Derry~Londonderry’s profile, strengthen the city’s appeal and boost local confidence, attracting new visitors and investment. It will create a lasting legacy and deliver a substantial programme of events and cultural activity which we look forward to showcasing to a global audience.”

Mr McCrossan said the tour which was open to anyone involved in the local hospitality industry to brush up on their knowledge of Derry’s attractions - especially new additions such as the Peace Bridge and the newly completed Ebrington Square. “The tour was very well attended and everyone who took part was very excited about the plans for Derry not only in 2013 but this year. With all that is happening in Belfast this year, Derry can expect to reap the benefit as well. Things are looking so well in the city at the moment and now we need to make sure that we all work together to make the coming months and the City of Culture year a big success for Derry.”

Tuesday’s tour took in many of the city’s key sights including Derry’s Walls, the Guildhall (currently being refurbished) First Derry Presbyterian Church, St Augustine’s Church, Austins Department Store, the Peace Bridge and Ebrington Square.