Visitor numbers to the city continue to grow

Visit Derry General Manager Odhran Dunne.  (2701JB60)
Visit Derry General Manager Odhran Dunne. (2701JB60)

Over 60 per cent of Derry’s hotel rooms were occupied during the first five months of this year, it has been revealed.

Tourist accommodation data by Visit Derry shows an overall growth of four per cent in hotel room sales up to the end of May.

During the same period occupancy rates increased by 2.55 per cent to 66 per cent.

The average hotel occupancy rate across the North for the same period was just 62 per cent.

The figures also reveal that in the last year, 40 new accommodation properties have registered with Tourism NI, the statutory agency responsible for quality standards in the sector.

This is double the number of registrations in the previous year.

All tourist accommodation providers in the North must receive certification from Tourism NI in order to operate.

The Tourism (Northern Ireland) Order 1992 prohibits anyone from providing or offering to provide tourist accommodation as a business - overnight sleeping accommodation for tourists provided by way of a trade or business - unless there is a valid certificate issued by Tourism NI.

These regulations apply to all tourist accommodation categories.

It has also been revealed that the hotel room stock in the city has increased by 40 per cent in the last seven years.

Odhran Dunne, General Manager of Visit Derry, said this ‘is a strong indication of the increased growth in the accommodation sector.’

Mr Dunne said that tourism plays an ‘integral role in the city’s economy as a local indigenous industry generating increased export value due to overnight visitor spend which is currently estimated at £57m’.

“Year on year visitor numbers continue to show an upward growth trajectory and this is crucial to the delivery of the city region’s strategic tourism growth figures to 2025 attracting one million visitors and a visitor spend of £100m.

“As we move into the busy summer period with an exciting line up of events planned that will showcase the North west including The Open, Legenderry Street Food Festival, O’Neill’s Foyle Cup and events linked to DCSDC’s Walled City 400 programme, we look forward to a busy start to the summer season and welcoming visitors from across the world to overnight and enjoy the fantastic tourism product and events on offer.”