Bounce back as buzz around Derry returns
Derry’s city centre is experiencing something of a bounce back since restrictions were eased, with early indications of a busy trading period for many shops and the recently opened hospitality sector.
Derry’s city centre manager Jim Roddy said yesterday there has been a “dramatic increase” in footfall in the town, and while it is too early to say if every sector is feeling the benefit, some definitely are.
“Retail has certainly been busy and the good weather has brought people out,” Mr Roddy said.
He cautioned that there is still a way to go for some businesses who are navigating the restrictions that remain post-reopening, but said that as more and more people get vaccinated it is hoped further measures coupled with the vibrancy and value for which Derry is renowned will bring benefits to all sectors.
“Before COVID one of our biggest growth sectors was tourism, and it is very important that we get as many tourists coming back here in the future as possible.
“For the moment everyone is being cautious and careful and it is small steps”, he said, adding that “we all need to keep doing that” to get to where we want to be.
Mr Roddy pointed to Visit Derry’s recent report that hotels have already been busy since reopening, and said getting the word out about Derry will be crucial in the time ahead. “This is the place to come. We have so much on offer - great restaurants and shopping and other attractions and the most pleasant staff and if we get people to come here they will come back or go home and tell others.
“For now there are some positive signs so let’s be careful, let’s have common sense and look after each other.”