NW cross-border tourism drive for staycation summer 2021

A new cross-border Tourism Programme is being launched this Spring by Derry City and Strabane District Council and Donegal County Council to help local hospitality businesses explore the potential of developing new collaborative initiatives.

Friday, 16th April 2021, 9:23 am

Thirty businesses from across the North West City Region are being sought for the free programme which will see businesses supported to collaborate with other businesses to develop strong product offerings that will enhance the visitor experiences in the region, increase dwell time and encourage visitors to travel around the region.

Supports include one to one and group mentoring opportunities as well as business development workshops and businesses will also be in a position to avail of a small grant in the region of £2,500 which can be used on items or services that will help the businesses to re-open, develop new products or take advantage of new opportunities arising in the market.

Mayor of Derry and Strabane Brian Tierney, said: “This is the first time the Councils have come together to deliver this type of support package and we’re confident that this joint effort will really help the tourism businesses across the region. It has been a very difficult 12 months but we’re sure that this programme will help local businesses to work together to develop a collaborative approach to rebuilding the tourism industry. “All participating businesses on the programme can also apply for grant support of £2,500. The grant will help the businesses re-adjust for their re-opening and ultimately help them become stronger in the long term.”

Fort Dunree is one of the many attractions popular with tourists and locals across the north west. (Picture Hugh Gallagher)

Cathaoirleach of Donegal, Colr. Rena Donaghey added: “The global outbreak of the COVID-19 virus has had a major impact on tourism businesses in the North West. Faced with significant reductions in revenues, many businesses within the tourism sector, small and large, have been forced to cease trading for long periods of time and lay off a significant portion of their workforce. To address these challenges head-on, Donegal County Council and Derry City and Strabane District Council have joined forces to offer tailored support to local tourism and hospitality businesses through this new North West Regional Development Programme which will help transform the sector and the region as we know it”.

The programme will recruit 30 businesses from the two Council areas and runs from May to July. Through one to one mentoring a team of tourism experts will help participating businesses to address the individual business’ needs and use group mentoring to explore product development and potential collaborative working. Participants will also have the opportunity to be included in a national marketing campaign promoting Staycations in the region.

The programme is free and open to tourism & hospitality businesses who are committed to all elements of it; are located in either Donegal County Council or Derry City & Strabane District Council.

To apply see www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NWTourismDeadline for applications is 26th April 2021.