Is Derry Europe’s best hidden tourism gem?

Derry has made the shortlist in a competition to find Europe’s Leading Emerging Tourism Destination 2021 at The World Travel Awards.

The Walled City of Derry is one of eight finalists in with a chance of scooping the big prize and is competing alongside other emerging city destinations across Europe in the prestigious global tourism awards programme nicknamed the Oscar’s of Travel.

Derry is up against Sofia, Bulgaria; Baku, Azerbaijan; Batumi, Georgia; Kutná Hora, Czech Republic; Ljubljana, Slovenia; Matera, Italy; Sibiu, Romania.

Now the city needs all our help to ensure the rest of the world know what they have been missing, with the public vote open until July 14.

Mayor Alderman Graham Warke with Visit Derry chair Michelle Simpson and Chief Executive Odhran Dunne. Supporting the voting are industry members, Brenda Morgan, City of Derry Airport, Ethan Dunlop, City Cabs, Lawrence McBride, Far and Wild, Carla McDevitt, Airporter, Kiera Duddy, The Pickled Duck, Bronagh Masoliber, Visit Derry. David Douglas, Derrie Danders and James Huey, Walled City Brewery.

Mayor Graham Warke, said: “We know our historic and dynamic city is unique and deserves to be recognised on a worldwide stage. Tourism is a key economic driver for the region, and we are thrilled it has been recognised as a rising destination in Europe. It is a major boost for the local tourism industry and provides great publicity for the city region and Northern Ireland.”

Odhran Dunne, Chief Executive of Visit Derry added: “Being a finalist in this prestigious award, puts us on a world stage as we begin to emerge from the covid crises. We have all the ingredients of a standout destination, centred on our historic City Walls, heritage, renowned lively cultural and events scene and strategic geographic location to be nominated for the award is fantastic. We look forward to the global industry and travel consumers recognising our emerging potential and giving us their vote!”

The winner will be the finalist who gains the most votes. Register and vote at:

For more infromation on Derry being shortlisted visit


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The World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all key sectors of the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. Today, the World Travel Awards™ brand is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of industry excellence.

Derry is renowned as Ireland’s only completely Walled City and one of the finest examples of Walled Cities in Europe today. The 17th Century Walls are the backdrop to a unique history incorporating the wider ‘Story of Derry’. It is the primary destination city for cultural and heritage experiences on the island of Ireland and is one of the most strategically positioned city locations on the island, where visitors can enjoy a unique experience with the convergence of two internationally recognised coastal driving routes – “The Walled City - where the Wild Atlantic Way meets the Causeway Coastal Route”

Derry is renowned for its buzzing atmosphere and hosts a plethora of festivals and events including Europe’s largest Halloween Carnival, Ireland’s largest international City of Derry Jazz Festival and the Foyle Maritime Festival which will act as a host port for the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in 2022.

It is also a recognised foodie destination with award winning food festivals, bustling restaurants, craic-filled bars and a vibrant street food scene.


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Home to City of Derry Airport (LDY), the gateway to Ireland’s North West with direct access from London Stansted, Glasgow and Liverpool, the city is also serviced by a direct coach transfer service with Airporter from Belfast International & Belfast City Airports.