Derry in Lonely Planet top list
Derry has been named as one of the top 10 cities to visit in 2013 by guidebook company Lonely Planet.
The city was placed fourth in a top 10 cities list in the annual Best in Travel 2013 guide, published today. The top three places went to San Francisco, Amsterdam and Hyderabad in India.
The guide recommends the Northern Ireland city because as UK City of Culture 2013 "this vibrant, historic walled city is undergoing a renaissance".
Next year would see a "wealth of cultural events, including the 10-day All Ireland Fleadh, the world’s biggest Irish festival, and it also plays host to the always-controversial Turner Prize", the guide says.
The city will "buzz" in 2013 with hundreds of events, it continues. Celebrations for the Earhart festival, celebrating 80 years since American aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart landed in a Derry field, would be "cranked up a notch", it says.
The news was welcomed by Tourism Ireland. The accolade “couldn’t have come at a better time as the city prepares to take the international spotlight as UK City of Culture” said Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland.
The profile listing “provides Tourism Ireland with yet another opportunity to promote the city as a ‘must see’ destination in our marketing activities across the world”, he added.
Also in the best cities list for 2013 were Beijing in China, Christchurch in New Zealand, Hobart in Australia, Montreal in Canada, Addis Ababa in Ethiopia and Puerto Iguazu in Argentina.
The top country to visit next year according to the guide is Sri Lanka, which it notes has emerged from civil war and offers good value. This is followed by Montenegro, South Korea, Ecuador and Slovakia.
Several European destinations are among those offering the best value for next year, including Gothenburg in Sweden, Spain and Slovenia. The French Mediterranean island of Corsica tops the list for the best regions in 2013 for its "furious beauty".