Tourism jobs boost hope for Derry

�/Lorcan Doherty Photography - November 10th 2011. ''NO FEE FOR REPRODUCTION''NITB Roadshow, Get with the ni2012 Programme, held in the City Hotel, Londonderry.''Siobhan McGuigan, NITB 2012-2013 Project Manager, right, with guests speakers Jennifer McKeever, Airporter, and Frank McGrogan, Sail West.'Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
�/Lorcan Doherty Photography - November 10th 2011. ''NO FEE FOR REPRODUCTION''NITB Roadshow, Get with the ni2012 Programme, held in the City Hotel, Londonderry.''Siobhan McGuigan, NITB 2012-2013 Project Manager, right, with guests speakers Jennifer McKeever, Airporter, and Frank McGrogan, Sail West.'Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography

The tourism industry has the potential to create thousands of jobs in the north west over the next two years, according to a senior Tourist Board figure.

Siobhan McGuigan, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board’s 2012-2013 project manager, made the comment following a tourism roadshow held in the City Hotel yesterday which was attended by more than 100 people involved in the tourism industry locally.

“There is a huge potential in the Derry area” she said. “We are seeing it as a two year step-changer.

“In terms of capital infrastructure in the tourism sector £300m million generated across Northern Ireland.

“We have not seen anything like it before and the north west is well paced to benefit from that with the Clipper Race, the Olympic torch relay, and the Peace One Day rally, and of course the City of Culture celebrations in 2013.

“It is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the city,” she said.

The tourism chief also said the tourist industry can create jobs while other sectors are experiencing a downturn. “Tourism is a real driver. In terms of job creation it is a real opportunity.

“Right across the region the opportunity is there that between now and 2015 3,500 jobs could be created.

“We have seven key events taking place in 2012-2013 and three of those are in the Derry area so it is an exciting time for the region,” she said.