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New York visit to mark Legenderry Finale and promote Halloween to US market

18 June 2018

A Mayoral-led delegation from Derry City and Strabane District Council in partnership with Visit Derry will travel to New York next week to engage with tourism and cultural organisations to further strengthen business, tourism and civic links between the two regions.

The visit is organised to coincide with the departure of the Clipper Round the World Race as it sets off on the Legenderry Finale leg before its much anticipated arrival in Derry for the Foyle Maritime Festival taking place on 14-22 July and to launch details of this year’s International Halloween celebrations. Representatives from Tourism Ireland, Invest NI and the NI Bureau will also take part in the visit.

Speaking ahead of the trip, the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr John Boyle said connecting with the United States was key to the city and district’s ambitions to promote the wider North West region as a great place to visit and do business.

He said he was very much looking forward to enjoying a warm US welcome and attending a series of networking events and meetings to showcase Derry and Strabane for tourism, cultural and business investment opportunities.

He said: “We already have very strong links with New York and with North America as a whole and I am delighted to be representing the city on this visit to further strengthen those connections and build on our existing shared cultural and economic interests.

“During the visit I am very much looking forward to catching up with the crews of the Clipper 2017-2018 Round the World Race participants, including Derry man Conall Morrison who is skippering the Hotel Planner yacht, and telling them about the fantastic programme of events we have organised as part of the Foyle Maritime Festival and the amazing welcome we have in store for them.

“I am particularly delighted that we are using the visit as an opportunity to launch our Halloween programme to an international audience and to encourage our US diaspora to make the date in their diary to come to Derry for the biggest and best Halloween celebration in the world.”

Stephen Gillespie, Director of Business and Culture with Derry City and Strabane District Council said the visit was timely following the recent launch of the Tourism Strategy and a great opportunity for Council to share its key aspirations and objectives for tourism development in the city and district and wider region.

He said: “This is a chance for us to tell our key partners in North America in particular Tourism Ireland about the city and district as a destination and a Hub – a unique Walled City, where the Wild Atlantic Way meets the Causeway Coastal Route. We will be able to confirm our rightful position as the cultural destination of choice on the island of Ireland and highlight our reputation as a City that hosts world class festival and events by showcasing the Foyle Maritime Festival and how it will host the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race for the fourth consecutive time.

“The visit to New York will also give the delegation a really unique opportunity to launch the Halloween programme in North America as part of Council’s ambitious plans to grow the International audience and reputation of the festival, so this visit is a really important and worthwhile engagement for everyone involved.”


Karen Henderson, Sales and Marketing Manager with Visit Derry, who will be accompanied by representatives from four of their award-winning trade partners – Walled City Brewery, Beech Hill Country House Hotel, Bishop’s Gate Hotel and City Hotel said: “Our New York itinerary is a golden opportunity to sell their bespoke tourism products to key US tour operators, all aimed at generating new business for the city and region.

“This is a particularly significant growth area for our LegenDerry destination as 23% of our overnight visitors are from the North American market and we will be maximising all of the promotional opportunities available to showcase the city’s unique tourism offering including our internationally renowned upcoming Foyle Maritime Festival and Derry Halloween Festival.”

During the visit the North West delegation will attend a series of meetings geared towards generating and strengthening existing investment, tourism and trade links and take part in a Clipper Race corporate sail event. The Mayor will also address a keynote lunch event hosted by Invest NI, Tourism Ireland and the NI Bureau and will meet with both the British and Irish Consul General. 


The Mayor added that in addition to engaging with lots of people with connections and links to the North West, he hopes to encourage people to come to Derry and Strabane to find out more about our shared culture and history and to find out about the real and positive changes which has revitalised the city and the district.

“I will be working to develop the relationships already established with the Diaspora in New York to ensure they continue to act as ambassadors for the city and region and help promote what we have to offer and getting across the really positive message that our city and region is a fantastic place to visit and do business.”

The delegation will leave for the US on 18 June returning to the city on 25 June. The Foyle Maritime Festival is scheduled to take place on 14-22 July. The full festival programme is available at www.foylemaritimefestival.com