Derry key to north’s tourism in 2013 - Minister

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Derry will be at the heart of a drive to bring people to the north in 2013, the north’s leading tourism figures have said.

Tourism minister Arlen e Foster says Derry’s year as city of culture will put not just the city, put the entire north “on the map in a completely new way.”

“A major programme of promotional activity is being planned around Londonderry as the UK City of Culture, and this will allow Tourism Ireland to put the city, and Northern Ireland, on the map in a completely new way.

“Tourism Ireland aims to attract more visitors from overseas with a focus on the City of Culture events, the World Police and Fire Games and the worldwide publicity that will undoubtedly be generated by the recent announcement that the G8 summit is to be held in Fermanagh.”

Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, Niall Gibbons says people will have “fresh and compelling reasons for people across the world to visit” next year.

“Next year is about delivering growth in the continuing difficult climate. Despite the uncertainty surrounding the pace of economic recovery in our key source markets, we believe that 2013 will see an increase in visitor numbers.

“In particular the Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture 2013 celebrations will provide fresh and compelling reasons for people across the world to visit.

“The G8 summit also presents an unprecedented opportunity to showcase Fermanagh and Northern Ireland – not only to world leaders but to the international media.

“We plan to build on new levels of awareness arising from ni2012 and will be pulling out all the stops to ensure that Northern Ireland increases its share of the global travel business. And we will continue to work closely with our tourism partners, both at home and overseas, to achieve our common objectives and help drive economic regeneration.”