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Businesses urged to get on board with Maritime Festival opportunities

10 July 2018

Derry is gearing up for one of the biggest events taking place in the country this summer as the Foyle Maritime Festival gets into full swing this Saturday, running from July 14-22.

Local businesses are preparing themselves for a busy week with over 180,000 people expected to flock to the city over the course of the Festival, arriving from locations all over the world.

It will be a bumper time for the local economy, especially for those in the hospitality and tourism industry, and the Business Support Team at Derry City and Strabane District Council have been working closely with businesses from a range of sectors to ensure they maximise the opportunity to target new customers.

As well as offering advice on how to tailor products and services to meet visitor demand during the festival, a special web platform Explore Derry is launching today, created to highlight the wide range of offers and promotions available over the coming weeks.

Over 50 business have already signed up featuring a whole host of special offers and seasonal experiences, all on the one platform – ideal for both visitors and locals hoping to get the most from their festival experience.

The website launches just in time for the official festival start on Saturday and will be made available to businesses during all forthcoming major events taking place in the Council area.

Council’s Head of Business, Kevin O’Connor, said it was fantastic to see local companies finding new and enterprising ways to promote the many quality products on offer at local events.

“The Foyle Maritime Festival provides us with a unique opportunity to showcase the North West as an international tourist destination celebrating both our maritime heritage and our growing profile as an exciting visitor destination,” he explained. “This year we are expecting to build on the footfall of previous years, reaching 164,576 in 2016, and this presents local businesses with the chance to maximise their business potential.

“I am delighted to see the launch of the Explore Derry website today. Our business team is always looking for new ways for enterprises to get the best out of the fantastic events hosted by Derry and Strabane each year. This new platform is a great tool for local companies, and will be of real benefit to the thousands of people who come to enjoy our events as well as supporting the wider growth of the local economy. Any company hoping to engage new audiences throughout the Festival, or seeking advice on how they can progress their business should get in contact with the Business Boost team now.”

As well as signing up for the Explore Derry website, local businesses are connecting with the Festival in a number of other ways. Eleven local businesses are participating in the Adopt-a-Boat scheme, hosting the teams from the Clipper Around the World Yacht Race during their time spent here in the city. This offers the chance for businesses to extend their brand to the wider global network of coverage for followers of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

Local traders will also be working hard, showcasing the wealth of fantastic products and craftwork available through the variety of market stalls, with 39 local vendors taking part in the Maritime Markets. And the city’s growing reputation as a top food destination will be celebrated with a fine showing of local cuisine courtesy of local chefs in the Seafood Kitchen, and a Seafood Trail bringing some maritime magic to menus across the city.

The Explore Derry site is now live at explorederry.events/ If you would like to find out more about how to join just go to the site.

If you would like some further advice on how your business can benefit from involvement in some of the large scale events taking place locally throughout the year then contact [email protected] or go to www.derrystrabane.com/Business/Business-Support

The Foyle Maritime Festival is supported by Tourism Northern Ireland, Foyle Port, Loughs Agency, Diageo, and DuPont Kevlar.