On Thursday 23rd September 2021 Visit Derry’s new Visitor Information Centre celebrated one year since opening its doors. Located in the heart of the city at Waterloo Place, the state-of-the-art Visitor Information Centre offers a range of trip-planning services for visitors to the Walled City and North West region.
The centre’s prime location, adjacent to the historic City Walls, has seen an increase of 22% in visitors from Republic of Ireland and 28% of visitors from Northern Ireland looking for advice and information during the summer period.
As a vital information hub, the centre offers a wide range of visitor services including expert advice, digital information kiosks, interactive maps and videos, tourism literature, tickets for tours, an accommodation booking service and gift shop. The world-class centre offers up details unique to the city, including an oak tree centrepiece explaining the background of the city’s name meaning ‘oak grove’, a peace bridge themed bench for visitors, vibrant murals and a video experience detailing Amelia Earhart’s visit to the city.
During its first year the Visitor Information Centre has played a pivotal role in boosting the destinations profile. Highlights include launching the city and Northern Ireland’s first-ever Visitor Pass – a new integrated attraction ticket, a live radio broadcast, filming for a series with RTE Lifestyle, providing a welcome to the city for the inaugural class of University of Ulster Medical School students, welcoming language school groups and the return of tour groups business to the city.
Visitors and locals alike have visited the centre, looking for inspiration on things to do local and local merchandise to send to loved ones nationally and internationally.
Catherine Crawley, Visitor Services Manager said: “The Visitor Information Centre opened last year as a new orientation hub for locals and visitors. We have a truly unique offering here, providing a starting point on visitor’s journeys to get expert advice before setting off on some of the many tourist activities we have to offer. We have been delighted to welcome a dramatic rise in visitors from the Republic of Ireland, many who have never visited the city before, as well as help local people discover what is right on their doorstep.
To mark the occasion, the 50th customer in the center received a hamper full of local artisan gifts, souvenirs and official ‘Derry Girls’ merchandise. The lucky winners were brothers Michael Poland who lives in Stockholm, Sweden and Patrick Poland from Wallasey in England. Patrick commented: “We are delighted to win the hamper. We’re originally from County Down and have been visiting the West Coast of Ireland, with this the final stop on our trip before going back to Newcastle to visit our mother. This will make a lovely treat for her!”