Win a trip to Derry - but on your own head be it
The Northern Ireland Tourist Board is to launch a review after an all-Ireland advert for Londonderry warned visitors that it would not be held responsible for their personal safety.
The board has come under fire from Derry politicians who feel the publication of a full-page advertisement, taken out recently in a daily tabloid newspaper, was more likely to put people off visiting the city than entice them to come.
Foyle Sinn Fein MLA Martina Anderson and DUP East Londonderry MLA Adrian McQuillan were among those who raised concerns about the impact of the words on potential tourists.
Ms Anderson said she believed the wording would put people off coming to the city.
“It is highly questionable why they would do that in the manner they did. It would put people off coming to the city and those highly intelligent, highly paid individuals who put that ad together had to know the impact and the import of the message,” she said.
“If you were entering a competition for a trip to go anywhere and you saw that disclaimer, or if you were looking to invest in this city, it would create a bad impression.”
Mr McQuillan, meanwhile, told the Telegraph today he “couldn't believe it” when he saw the ad.
He said: “If you read that for anywhere ... you would turn round to yourself and say ‘I’m not going there’. It’s like they are saying ‘come here but watch yourself’.
“People will think ‘if the Tourist Board is saying that, what’s anybody else saying?’
“It takes away all the good the ad is supposed to have done. I just think it’s a half-hearted attempt to try and sell Northern Ireland.”
A Tourist Board spokeswoman said it works with a communications agency to develop and place its advertisements and competitions in the press: “When placing a competition in the press there are generic terms and conditions attached which are managed and placed by the communications agency. The clause in question is a standard disclaimer used by the agency for all competitions which involve travel to any destination.
“It is designed to cover any type of accident or personal injury which the competition organiser would expect personal or travel insurance to cover. NITB is pleased that this has been brought to our attention and will be addressing the wording for future competitions.”
Alan Clarke, NITB chief executive, said in future they would review the wording for future advertisements and competitions.
The Tourist Board backed the city’s bid to become UK City of Culture in 2013 and it features heavily on its website.