Local tourism chief, Odhran Dunne, believes the Derry Walls should be promoted as a ‘living, breathing experience’ with its own dedicated marketing body.
The Visit Derry manager made the observation while briefing members of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee (NIAC) on Wednesday.
Queried on the management of the structure, which was completed 400 years ago this Spring, Mr. Dunne said the current oversight arrangements were complex.
They are managed by a group which includes the Department of Justice, the Department of Infrastucture, the Department for Communities, Tourism NI and The Honourable The Irish Society.
Mr. Dunne said the Walls, listed among ‘1,001 Historic Sites You Must See Before You Die’ by UNESCO, should have their own promotional body.
“Who’s role is it to promote the City Walls? It’s an iconic attraction in N.I. Who’s remit is that? Is it left to Visit Derry?” he asked.
He said any other country would invest heavily in a monument of their significance.
“In other destinations you would have specific resources and management and marketing resources going to promote such an iconic attraction.
"We would like to see the City Walls brought to life through a full curatorial animation programme that becomes a living, breathing experience for visitors rather than an inert object that comes to life with events at different times of the year.
“We’ve launched a new cultural strategy and all the facets of that will, hopefully, with the support of central government, local government and the private sector, drive tourism to the City Walls,” he said.
‘Visit Derry’ manager, Odhran Dunne, with ‘Visit Belfast’s’ Gerry Lennon at the N. Ireland Affairs Committee.