Derry’s Economy has shifted significantly towards knowledge sector activity in the last decade. Sectors achieving international success include; technology manufacturing, software development and digital media, business processes in technology and financial services and a growing life sciences sector. Retailing and tourism have also demonstrated significant growth in terms of increased demand by retailers to locate in the City as well as a rise in visitor numbers.
'Derry-Londonderry has all the ingredients which any tourism destination needs - the physical product based on our unique history and built heritage, a vibrant arts and cultural sector, our fabulous riverfront location and welcoming people to ensure the visitor experience is the very best that we have to offer. Tourism growth will become increasingly important as an economic driver.' Sir Roy McNulty, Chairman, Ilex Urban Regeneration Company
The historic city core has been designated by Government as one of Northern Ireland's five 'Signature Tourism Projects', putting the Walled City on an investment priority list alongside Titanic Belfast, Giant's Causeway, St Patrick, and the Mourne Mountains. Still retaining its 17th century street grid, the historic core is a remarkable asset and visitors are also led through the contemporary story of the Journey to Peace.
Derry is also widely recognised for its vibrant cultural and artistic offering including music, festivals, events and business and education tourism, which offer huge scope for development. Other inbuilt advantages include the dramatic River Foyle, regional hinterland of the Sperrin Mountains, Causeway Coast and Donegal's stunning 200 mile coastline.
Derry's Tourism Development Strategy to 2012 is based on developing the city’s considerable assets to create world-class visitor experiences. Derry’s stated Mission is to grow the tourism economy by 8% per annum to 2012 by investing in new infrastructure, enhancing human resources and creating unique visitor experiences to expand tourism in the City and region.
Local sector growth is demonstrated by increasing visitor numbers, and associated dwell time. Projected growth in visitor numbers from key market segments will bring investment opportunities in terms of visitor servicing and accommodation. Projected passenger growth and the establishment of new routes at the City of Derry Airport will also support the City’s proposition as key location for tourism-related investment.