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New fund to enhance Community-led Tourism experiences

28 August 2019

A new fund will open in September to support Community-led tourism within the City and District, aiming to further develop the region’s unique culture and heritage tourism offering.

The support is being offered through a one off infrastructure fund under the Natural Connections Peace Tourism Project which is supported by the PEACE IV Programme administered through Derry City and Strabane District Council. Two special information sessions will now take place on September 9th to offer guidance on applications.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Michaela Boyle, encouraged local community and tourism groups to consider applying.

“This is a great opportunity for individuals or organisations based in the Derry and Strabane Council area involved with Community-led tourism,” she stressed.

“As part of the Tourism Strategy for the City and District we want to connect visitors with authentic experiences and local people who can tell our story. The Peace Tourism project has an important role in bringing communities together and ensuring that all aspects of our culture and history are represented.

“We also want to support local businesses and organisations working within the tourism industry who can add to the diversity and quality of our local visitor attractions and experiences. I would really encourage anyone working in this area to come along to the information sessions and find out how this fund could benefit you.”

This funding stream is only available this financial year 2019 – 2020, so it presents a one off opportunity for local groups, individuals or organisations particularly those belonging to the PEACE IV Peace Tourism Project Steering Group or have participated in the PEACE IV Peace Tourism Development Programme.

Tourism project officer with Council Linzi Simpson explained a bit more about the Peace Tourism scheme. “The aim of this project is to bring together community, cultural and historical tourism, mainstream tourism and facilitators in the good relations field to produce, pilot and promote ‘Peace Tourism’ experiences suited to local, national and international demand. These experiences will be shaped by local expertise and will help explore issues of conflict and reconciliation.

“We also want the Derry and Strabane Council area to become established as a base for local, regional and international field trips and residential and training/awareness for the benefit of dialogue and peacebuilding.”

The sessions will take place in the Whittaker Suite of the Guildhall on September 9th from 10am – 11am and 6pm – 7pm. Anyone working within the tourism industry who has an interest in building on and developing their authentic Community-led tourism experiences is welcome to come along.