New tourism plan for Derry to be unveiled

Derry's annual Halloween festival is a major tourist draw. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 28.10.16
Derry's annual Halloween festival is a major tourist draw. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 28.10.16

A seven-year plan to transform Derry’s tourism industry is to be unveiled tomorrow at a conference co-hosted by the city’s Chamber of Commerce, Derry and Strabane District Council and Visit Derry.

The conference, entitled ‘A new level of Ambition’, will take place in the city’s Guildhall and will be officially opened by Chamber President Jennifer McKeever at 9.30am.

Derry Chamber of Commerce president Jennifer McKeever.

Derry Chamber of Commerce president Jennifer McKeever.

Ms McKeever said: “The Chamber is delighted to jointly host this hugely significant conference. There has been enormous interest and that reflects the enthusiasm and ambition of the tourism and hospitality sectors in this city and region.

“The centrepiece of the event is the launch of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Tourism 2025 Strategy.

“The headline aim of the new tourism roadmap is to realise Derry’s ambition as a hub destination, connecting The Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coastal Route.

“The strategy sets out clear goals, with strong focus on Derry’s branding as The Walled City, increasing visitor spend to £100 million annually and creating 1,000 additional jobs in the local tourism sector.”

Ms McKeever said the new strategy is an important document which will help the region to substantially build upon the local economy’s “tourism gains” of recent years.

“Tourism doesn’t just raise the city’s profile to visitors, it raises confidence and aspiration in all of us. It helps us to view our city and region through international eyes and recognise the great potential for growth in the industry by attracting more visitors from around the world.

“When visitors come, we want them to stay longer and spend their money in our hospitality and retail businesses. We want those businesses to continue to invest and grow, employ more staff, offer more career opportunities and put our city on the map. We want to see our evening economy grow and we want to support those businesses who have already done so well to put us on the map.”

‘A new level of Ambition’ will follow the main themes of the Tourism Strategy 2025 and the speakers’ content will reflect those themes: History & Heritage; Culture & Creativity and Activity & Adventure.