Visitors boost for Culture City

The scene at the opening of the new Peace Bridge on Saturday. INLS2611-137KM
The scene at the opening of the new Peace Bridge on Saturday. INLS2611-137KM
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Visitors to Derry Tourist Information Centre have increased by almost 50%, the ‘Journal’ can reveal.

The boost in enquiries at the facility is believed to be indicative of a general upsurge in visitors to the city and region.

The latest figures show that Derry is already reaping the rewards of being announced UK City of Culture 2013 last July, according to Derry Visitor and Convention Bureau (DVCB).

Counter enquiries have increased by almost 10,000, from 20479 in the period from January to June 2010 to 30,330 for the same period this year.

Catherine O’Connor, of DVCB, confirmed that the Tourist Information Centre recorded a 48% increase compared with January-June 2010. “Derry Visitor and Convention and Convention are delighted to announce the increase in counter enquiries from visitors to the city at the centre on Foyle Street during the first six months of the year ,” she said.

The most significant increase in counter enquiries is for international visitors with a massive hike of more than 8,300, from 14,611 to 22,946. The number of enquiries from Northern Ireland visitors increased from 4,428 to 5,240 while enquiries from visitors travelling from Republic rose from 1,440 to 2,144.

Ms O’Connor said the markets showing “strong growth” included Germany, France and Spain and also the North American market. She said that the positive interest in the city since the announcement of City of Culture designation “is setting the foundation for an exciting number of years ahead”. “We believe that the city and region will attract global audiences for major events linked to the City of Culture 2013 and beyond and look forward to welcoming unprecedented level of visitor numbers before, during and after this momentous year,” she added.