Groups invited to support Peace Tourism Project
18 December 2017
Local groups are being urged to support a new project which aims to bring together local organisations to deliver a bespoke ‘Peace Tourism’ experience showcasing the City and District. The Natural Connections: Peace Tourism Project is part of the Shared Spaces and Services priority area of the PEACE IV Programme, and is open to community, cultural and historical tourism, mainstream tourism and specialist facilitators in the good relations field.
The project will support this sector with producing, piloting and promoting tourism packages that will meet local, national and international visitor demand. Derry City and Strabane District Council have recently appointed a ‘Peace Tourism Project’ Officer to co-ordinate the creation of the experience bringing together the many local groups already working in this field.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh, said that a lot of great work has been done by the sector to date but this initiative will co-ordinate and join up this offer to deliver a unique experience for visitors to the area.
“I am delighted to launch the Natural Connections project today and I would really encourage local organisations with expertise in this field to get involved. We have a unique story to tell our visitors in terms of our journey to peace and this should be told, especially by those who have been involved in the process of delivery. It will offer the opportunity to explore issues of conflict and reconciliation and revisit moments of significance in our history to create a visitor experience truly exclusive to our area. It’s a fantastic opportunity to bring groups from all communities together to share our experiences and insight into peace building.”
This project aims to enhance the City and District’s profile as an exciting destination for the local community regional and international visitors, field trips, and residential and training/awareness experiences for the benefit of dialogue and peacebuilding. It will provide a platform to tell our story, in a similar manner to other historic destinations across the world where it’s become an integral part of the local tourism offering.
If successful, the project could potentially establish a sustainable tourism income stream from across Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland.
“This project is supported by the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) and is about offering the opportunity for all relevant local providers to work together in a cross-community way,” explained Linzi Simpson, who will co-ordinate the project on behalf of Council.
“I’m currently networking with Tourist providers, including community tourist projects and am also keen to hear from groups and individuals with dialogue expertise or local venues which reflect diversity, history and politics.
“So whether you’ have a museum, an Irish or Ulster-Scots Centre, a heritage church building, Mosque or Gurdwara or experience in facilitating peace or tourist groups – please get in contact!”
Anyone who would like to get involved in the project or find out any further information should contact: Linzi Simpson [email protected] or 02871253253