O’Neill’s Foyle Cup tournament Chairman Michael Hutton says hotel bookings in the north west are at an all-time high with the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, the Maritime Festival and the Foyle Cup all taking place over a two week period.
“I have long maintained that sports events organised locally will deliver for tourism in the north west area and what we are experiencing at the moment is proof of what is possible,” said Mr Hutton.
“The region is a buzz with the golf classic this week as the city awaits the beginning of the Maritime festival and the ONeills Foyle Cup event.
“There is something happening for all - golf, soccer, water sports - all we need is more of these kind of events.
“I am in daily contact with participants in this year’s ONeills Foyle Cup event and I can vouch for the fact that the excitement and anticipation for all those competing is at an all time event high.
“Particularly among those travelling from America (600plus) France, Finland, Sweden, England, Scotland, Ireland North and South for the event, as they have never experienced just a wealth of opportunity in terms of what is on offer during the Foyle cup tournament in any other tournament throughout the world.
“The city will be a wash of colour and excitement as 6500 young people, boys and girls including kids with disability participate in the event.
“Events such as these do so much to promote what is best about our city and region and we are delighted to play our part in highlighting what this area has on offer.
“I know many of our visitors, whose priority is participation in the football event, are booking walking tours of our historic city walls, trips to famous Giant’s Causeway, the Titanic Quarter in Belfast, the American Folk Park as well as day trips to experience the beautiful beaches and scenery of Donegal.
“Those involved inhosting our visitors, the hotels, B&Bs, guest houses, University campuses of Magee and Coleraine, Martha’s Vineyard in Brunswick Superbowl, do so much to promote our event such is the warmth of welcome and attention to detail offered all our visitors - the accommodation for the following year is booked out for the following year even before they depart the city.
“The Foyle cup event alone can boast of creating over 13,000 bed- night occupancy, all on a full board basis and attracting over the period of the 6 day event more than 80,000 spectators, generating over £2,000,000 spending in the local economy.”
This year’s Foyle Cup event will run from July 16 to July 21 inclusive and will witness its highest ever entry of teams with almost 400 teams participating throughout the week with competition for kids 9 - 19 years of age.
The event is scheduled to take place all across the worth west region of Derry, Strabane, Limavady, Coleraine and Donegal with no fewer than 36 different scheduled venues.
The event is supported by Derry City and Strabane District Council, Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council, Tourism NI, Executive office, Dept for Communities, Inner City Trust, Seagate, Brunswick Movie Bowl and Derry Credit Union