26 February 2013
Members of a Northern Ireland Assembly All Party Group on Tourism visited Derry~Londonderry recently to explore the tourism potential at key sites related to the UK City of Culture.
Hosted by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB), the visit was arranged as part of a meeting of the All Party Group on Tourism, which is chaired by North Antrim MLA David McIlveen.
Attending MLAs were given a presentation on tourism in the city and the City of Culture, by Sharon O’Connor, Derry City Council and Shona McCarthy, Culture Company 2013.
Award-winning tour guide Martin McCrossan of City Tours provided a walking tour for guests, incorporating Ebrington, the City Walls and key investment projects such as First Derry Presbyterian Church, Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall, St. Columb’s Cathedral and St Columba’s Heritage Centre.
NITB has invested over £14 million in tourism projects in the city as part of the Walled City Signature Project, including, £8 million in the Built Heritage Project and £1.4 million in the Walled City Lighting Strategy.
It is also supporting the Culture Company 2013 through funding towards the 2013 events programme, having earmarked £750,000 towards City of Culture events, subject to approval of full business cases.
NITB continues to support UK City of Culture in key areas such as marketing and communications, industry development and the visitor welcome.
Laura McCorry, NITB Director of Corporate Development said, "The aim of engaging with the All Party Group is to showcase Northern Ireland as a tourism destination and through identifying tourism innovation and opportunity to inform and inspire our MLAs.”
"The MLAs were certainly keen to hear about the tourism investments at landmark locations throughout the Walled City which are contributing to its wider regeneration and acting as a catalyst for increased tourism."
The group's chairman David McIlveen said, "This meeting was a first opportunity for the group to engage with City of Culture and to learn more about the work going on to deliver what is a truly exceptional programme of events and a series of firsts.
"I would like to thank everyone who spoke to us and hope that we can continue to work together over the coming months to ensure this landmark year presents Londonderry and Northern Ireland as a whole as a must-visit destination."
Caption: (Left- Right) David McIlveen North Antrim MLA (Chair of All Party Group on Tourism); Laura McCorry, Director of Corporate Development, NITB; Mark H Durkan MLA; Maeve McLaughlin MLA; Sharon O’Connor Chief Executive Derry City Council; Odhran Dunne, Interim Chief Executive, Derry Visitor and Convention Bureau; take part in the All Party Group on Tourism visit to Derry ~Londonderry, hosted by NITB.
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