Tourism ‘will bounce back’ from pandemic in Derry & Strabane

Tourism is a sector that will see a good ‘bounce back’ from the Covid pandemic, local COuncillors in Derry and Strabane have been told.

Friday, 9th July 2021, 2:44 pm

Senior economist, Dr Eoin Magennis told Members of the Governance and Strategic Planning Committee that it all ‘comes down to the product’.

Dr Magennis was presenting an update on the economic forecast for the Derry City and Strabane Council area.

He said: “We are likely to see a good bounce back with tourism and more generally in the accommodation sector. It’s going to come down to the product. 

Derry Halloween - Return of the Ancients' International Halloween Street Carnival Parade Photo by Lorcan Doherty

“At the moment the staycation model is the one with very few international tourists for the island of Ireland as a whole, never mind for the north west.  We might see some towards the end of autumn but I think that it will be another year where the staycation market will be the key one.

“The product becomes interesting – let’s say you have hotels that have long relied on bus tour numbers coming through. Does it now mean you are getting a better bang for your buck if you are now filling the rooms?  It may well do, so there may be an interesting revisiting by hotels, B&Bs, Airbnbs, and so on after this year to see what the product actually looks like. 

“I suspect we might see new directions taken, that some tourism providers might feel that the staycation model is not a bad one to try and get more out of.”

Sinn Féin Councillor Sandra Duffy agreed: “We do think tourism will be one of the sectors that will bounce back quickest around the City and District and we have started to see an uplift in that locally over the last while. However, as a City and District, we need to decide what our tourism product is and how we can best sell that.”

By Gillian Anderson

Local Democracy Reporter