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New Cross Border Tourism Programme to be launched by local Councils

A new Cross Border Tourism Programme is to be launched this Spring by  Donegal County Council and Derry City and Strabane District Council to support local tourism and hospitality businesses in the recovery of the local economy.

This programme will support busniesses across the North West City Region to develop strong product offerings which will enhance tourists’ visitor experience and encourage more visitors to travel around the region.

Supports include one-to-one and group mentoring opportunities, business development workshops and €2,500 business support grants to be used to help businesses re-open, develop new products or take advantage of new market opportunities.

Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr. Rena Donaghey welcomed this new programme, saying:

“The global outbreak of the COVID-19 virus has had a major impact on tourism businesses in the North West.  Faced with significant reductions in revenues, many businesses within the tourism sector, small and large, have been forced to cease trading for long periods of time and lay off a significant portion of their workforce. To address these challenges head-on, Donegal County Council and Derry City and Strabane District Council have joined forces to offer tailored support to local tourism and hospitality businesses through this new North West Regional Development Programme which will help transform the sector and the region as we know it.”

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr Brian Tierney, added:

“This is the first time the Councils have come together to deliver this type of support package and we’re confident that this joint effort will really help the tourism businesses across the region. It has been a very difficult 12-months but we’re sure that this programme will help local businesses to work together to develop a collaborative approach to rebuilding the tourism industry.  All participating businesses on the programme can also apply for grant support of £2,500.  The grant will help the businesses re-adjust for their re-opening and ultimately help them become stronger in the long term.”

The programme will recruit 30 businesses from the 2 Council areas and run from May to July.  Through one-to-one mentoring a team of tourism experts will help participating businesses to address the individual business’ needs and use group mentoring to explore product development and potential collaborative working.  Participants will also have the opportunity to be included in a national marketing campaign promoting ‘staycations’ in the region.

Participation is free and all Tourism & Hospitality businesses in Donegal, Derry City or Strabane.

Businesses interested can apply for the programme at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NWTourism.  Deadline for applications is 26th April 2021.