Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Clipper event named Derry's most popular festival

The Clipper Round The World Yacht Race making its way to Greencastle in Donegal for the start of the next race stage Netherlands. Picture Margaret McLaughlin
Undertones lead singer Paul McLoone on stage at the Legenderry concert in Ebrington Square which was part of the continuing festival to welcome home the crew of the Derry~Londonderry round the world Clipper yacht race. Picture Martin McKeown. 5.7.12
The Derry~Londonderry Clipper Yacht which drew the crowds as the free tours of the round the world yachts continue with today (tursday) being the last day before the crews prepare to resume racing on saturday. PIcture Martin McKeown. 4.7.12

Official figures show that Londonderry’s Clipper festival surpassed all expectations to become the most successful single festival ever staged in the city.

New figures show that over 100,000 visitors came to Derry over the 10-day festival in the summer, which was also a trial run for the organisation of the UK City of Culture celebrations.

NI Tourist Board (NITB) research shows that Derry’s inclusion in the round the world yacht race has also helped cement Northern Ireland’s standing as an international tourist destination.

A survey conducted by the Tourist Board shows that Derry’s involvement with the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race helped boost civic pride and put the region on the map as a must-see tourist destination.

The NITB asked the public for their views on the July festival and received an overwhelmingly positive response, with 97% of respondents saying it had made them feel proud of their country.

During the festival visitors had the opportunity to visit the Clipper Race yachts and meet the crews, as well as take part in a programme of activities and attractions including a seafood festival, continental market, a marine environment zone, a marine heritage zone and free back-to-back concerts at Ebrington Square.

Derry mayor Kevin Campbell said: “The Clipper Homecoming Festival had a huge impact on the city and the feedback from the public has been phenomenal.

“The festival successfully created a great sense of pride and excitement in the city.”

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