Record number of cruise visitors in 2019
A record number of cruise liners will visit this year carrying up to 10,000 passengers and potentially generating £750,000 for the local economy.
Derry City & Strabane District Council Head of Culture, Aeidin McCarter, told it’s Business & Culture Committee 16 ships are booked to call at Derry and Donegal this year.
That’s three times the five liners that berthed in the region in 2010. Ms. McCarter said the hike was due to favourable trade winds created by Cruise North West, an ongoing marketing partnership between Foyle Port, Loughs Agency, DC&SDC and Visit Derry, whose focus is bringing more stopovers to the area.
She told the committee that “benefits of the partnership from 2010 include a focused trade marketing campaign resulting in over 25 cruise calls and increased visitors to the region”.
And this year there will be a record-number of berths at Fort George, Lisahally and Greencastle, she stated.
“2019 is set to welcome a record 16 ships with a potential of over 10,000 passengers and crew generating over £750,000 to the local economy,” reported Ms. McCarter.
“The cruise marketing proposals include US, European and UK sales missions, new photography, operator support and familiarisation visits, marine advertising and logistics for arriving cruise ships.
“The potential development of Greencastle Port as part of NW infrastructural development plans will see a transition and review of priorities for the Cruise NW group in early 2019,” she continued.
The Committee approved continued £5,000 annual investments for Cruise NW for each of the years 2018/2019 and 2019/2020, or £10,000 in total.
Sinn Féin Colr. Mickey Cooper said the figures spoke for themselves and welcomed the increase in cruise calls over the past two to three years particularly. He said it would be tempting to increase the financial contribution but said he thought it wise, given the potential further development of Greencastle, to undertake the strategic review alluded to by Ms. McCarter.
SDLP Colr. Sinead McLaughlin agreed saying the visitor figures were “proof in the pudding” of Cruise NW’s success and that she was looking forward to new opportunities arising form the ongoing development of Greencastle.