Derry hotels packed to capacity for Hallowe’en

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Derry’s hotels are packed to capacity for this year’s Hallowe’en celebrations.

According to the Derry Visitor and Convention Bureau (DVCB), occupancy levels in local hotels are currently at 90% and are expected to rise even further.

Record numbers of people are expected in the city for the Banks of the Foyle Hallowe’en Carnival which kicks-off today.

Event organisers say everything is in place to ensure “Europe’s greatest Hallowe’en celebration” is the bigget and best ever.

The festival is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a host of events in venues across the city over the weekend.

The celebrations - which cater for all ages and tastes - begin today and culminate in a live outdoor concert, carnival parade and fireworks display on Hallowe’en night.

Odhran Dunne, Visitor Services manager with the DVCB, says he’s been working closely with accommodation providers to ensure all visitors to the city enjoy a first class stay.

Many accommodation providers are offering special weekend breaks aimed at enticing visitors to increase their stay.

Jim Roddy, of the City Centre Initiative, says the Hallowe’en festival has an overwhelmingly positive impact for local retailers.

“The festival has grown considerably over the last number of years and is a true representation of the progress the city continues to make.

“I think it is fair to say that we are all looking forward to a fun and safe Hallowe’en celebration.”

Event co-ordinator, Derry City Council’s Gerry McColgan, says Hallowe’en is an excellent time to visit the city to get a flavour of our personality and the quality of visitor services and entertainment on offer.

“There couldn’t be a better time to visit or to get out with all the family,” he said.

“There’s a host of wonderful family friendly with street performances, tours, storytelling, sports, traditional games, speciality markets and loads more. There’s an extended entertainment schedule for teenagers and music lovers of all ages which includes indoor and outdoor gigs- ranging in appeal with everything from rock, disco, pop, jazz to electronic making an appearance.

“Our Event Services team, including the Carnival Care Initiative, have worked with agencies from throughout the city to ensure that the celebrations will be both safe and enjoyable for locals and visitors alike.“

To view full details of the Halloween programme click on www.derrycity.gov.uk/halloween.