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Council announces plans to support urban tourism sector

29 June 2021
Derry City and Strabane District Council this week launches its Urban Tourism Experience programme, aimed at assisting new and established tourism businesses to develop or enhance visitor experiences that capture the history, heritage, culture and unique charm of its urban areas.
 
The purpose of the programme is to help urban based tourism businesses create new high-quality experiences or adapt their offering to reinvent themselves for future and long term sustainable growth, ultimately transforming the tourism sector as we know it and helping it to emerge from the pandemic stronger than before. The project comes just a few weeks after the launch of a bespoke tourism support programme for rural tourism providers.
 
Launching the initiative, the Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Alderman Graham Warke said: "Our Council's urban areas are steeped in history and heritage and are a key destination in offering world class visitor experiences. We feel it is important that we enhance that offering by working with tourism providers to offer support and assistance in developing their product and boosting our cultural and tourism experience."
 
Jennifer O'Donnell, Tourism Manager with Derry City and Strabane District Council, said: "We also want to develop visitor experiences that really capture the culture and charm that the urban areas offer our visitors. The strength of the arts and screen tourism in the area offer real opportunities. 
"The support package we have designed will help the recovery and also offers the opportunity to create something really unique and we are looking forward to see the ideas people come up with."
 
The tailored package includes expert mentoring support to develop new experiences, the opportunity to apply for financial assistance, and the chance to be included in an Ireland wide marketing campaign.
 
The Urban Experiences programme will recruit 16 businesses that are interested in developing a new, or enhancing an existing, tourism experience. The programme will run from July to October and will offer practical and flexible support to the businesses. 
 
The programme is free to participants and is open to urban based businesses who are:
·       Committed to participating in all elements of the programme (All elements of the programme will be delivered online – four skills development workshops, three group mentoring sessions and 1.75-days of one to one mentoring)
·       Located in either Derry City & Strabane District Council area
·       Committed to participate in the programme evaluation
 
This initiative will run alongside the Council's bespoke Rural Tourism Programme, launched earlier this month to help rurally based tourism businesses to enhance their tourism offering. This will see the recruitment of 12 rurally based businesses interested in developing a new, or enhancing an existing, tourism experience.
 
Businesses interested in applying can do so via the following link -  https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/UrbanTourism to complete the short expression of interest. Deadline for applications is 5.00pm 16th July.