BY TIM HEDGLEY, GROUP TRAVEL EDITOR
The Best of the North West will be showcased widely over the coming weeks as part of an exciting new collaborative tourism campaign launched today by Donegal County Council and Derry City and Strabane District Council, working in partnership with Visit Derry & Donegal Tourism CLG.
The £90,000 domestic marketing initiative will shine a light on all the Northwest has to offer, aimed at encouraging local people and visitors across the Island of Ireland to book a staycation right on their own doorstep. This campaign is funded through the North West Development Fund, in conjunction with The Executive Office and the Irish Government.
The campaign is part of the North West Regional Development Programme which aims to grow the value of the visitor economy. It follows on from the North West Tourism Product Development Programme, which was launched last year, supporting 30 tourism businesses on both sides of the border in developing new collaborative, bespoke products to enhance the region’s tourism offering, which will now feature within the marketing campaign.
The campaign captures the ease of exploring both destinations on one trip, highlighting the vast range of unique attractions available under four themes of nature, culture, adventure, and relaxation.
It will also will strongly focus on the Northwest’s unique location on the island as a gateway and great base to exploring explore both the breath taking Wild Atlantic Way and Causeway Coastal Route.
The Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Alderman Graham Warke, joined the Cathaoirleach of Donegal, Councillor Jack Murray, today for the launch, and reinforced the message that holidaying at home offers a wealth of new experiences.
“I think the events of the past two years have definitely instilled a greater awareness of the many beautiful places and unique cultural experiences we have right here on our own doorstep,” Ald Warke declared.
“We are blessed with stunning natural surroundings, from the scenic Sperrins to the many beautiful beaches of Donegal, and there are a whole host of historic sites to explore that tell the unique story of our place.
“Our urban centres offer a Legenderry food experience, and we are renowned the world over for the warmth of our hospitality.
“There’s something to appeal to everyone, whether embracing action and adventure, or sampling first class culture and cuisine are your idea of the perfect holiday.
“I am delighted to take this partnership approach to tourism, working closely with our neighbours in Donegal to our mutual benefit.
“This campaign will really showcase the full package of experiences on offer throughout the entire Northwest, embracing the best of both sides of the border.”
The Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Cllr Jack Murray, said: “A collaborative approach to local tourism would make the offering here even more compelling for visitors.
“The experiences we have in the Northwest are second to none and visitors will find excellent value for money deals across the region .”
John G Mc Laughlin CEO DCC, Chairman Donegal Tourism CLG, said: “This joint marketing initiative provides the region with a great opportunity to increase its profile within the national market.
“Given restrictions have been lifted and businesses are reopening this presents the region with access to both local markets along with markets across the island” .
Odhran Dunne, Visit Derry Chief Executive, said: “With the region’s visitor economy in recovery mode, this campaign captures the Northwest as a multi-destination experience with city, coastal and countryside experiences all within easy reach, inspiring visitors across the island to explore the region and its many attractions.
“Both Derry and Donegal have much to offer visitors; from Ireland’s only completely Walled City to award-winning attractions, vibrant restaurants, and breath-taking scenery across the region.
“Both areas are culturally rich and fascinating tourist destinations in their own right, yet together they offer reciprocal benefits to tourists visiting the area.”
The Best of the Northwest campaign will capture the vast range of unique attractions available under the four themes of nature, culture, adventure, and relaxation.
As the tourism industry gradually recovers after the devastating impact of the Covid19 crisis, the initiative aims to drive up visitor numbers and increase spend in the region.
Aimed at families, groups and couples, North and South of the border, it will provide inspiration for anyone planning a holiday, with an extensive digital and traditional media campaign running over the next six weeks.
It will focus on the vibrant, cultural experiences on offer in the Walled City of Derry which are complemented by the rugged coastline and breathtaking beauty of Donegal.
You can find out more about the campaign and all that the Northwest has to offer at: www.bestofnorthwestireland.com