Derry Girls: Plans for show-themed tourist attractions

A mural of the characters of Derry Girls in the city Image copyright Reuters
Image caption A mural featuring the characters of Derry Girls was added to a gable wall in the city in January

Derry Girls-themed tourist attractions are being planned for Londonderry after the success of the Channel 4 comedy.

Tourism NI confirmed that it is working with Visit Derry and Derry City and Strabane District Council to create Derry Girls visitor experiences.

The attractions are still in the early development stages but Tourism NI said they were "well beyond the starting line".

A walking tour highlighting filming locations is the main focus for now.

The show is set against the backdrop of the Troubles in Londonderry, Northern Ireland in the 1990s.

Judith Webb, of Tourism NI, who specialises in screen tourism, said: "It's very much the start of a journey - it's early days.

'Experiencing Derry'

"What we are working on at the moment is actually getting the visitors to really immerse themselves in the show and get out to those locations that were used in the best scenes.

"It's very much the type of experience that would be a walking tour that is narrated by somebody who is an expert on the show - who knows the funny lines, has some of the insight from the filming and maybe has behind the scenes stories that people wouldn't necessarily know about unless they came and joined the tour.

Image copyright Channel 4
Image caption The second series of Derry Girls ended this week and a third series has been confirmed

"That would be our main focus I think initially on the start of this journey.

"It's a great way of people experiencing the city of Derry."

The second series of the comedy came to a close on Tuesday night and plans for a third series have already been confirmed.

Derry City and Strabane District Council is taking into account the show's success in its five-year tourism strategy.

'Maximise the potential'

"This is a massive opportunity for tourism and visitor numbers and visitor spend, which is what the strategy is all about delivering," said the council's tourism officer Jennifer O'Donnell.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Derry Girls writer Lisa McGee (left) - pictured with the show's cast - is from the city

"But it's also about that economic development that happens when productions are in the city as well and that can't be underestimated."

The programme was picked up by the streaming giant Netflix, allowing viewers around the world to watch it.

"Because of the Netflix deal, we're getting Derry into the international market and that's a unique opportunity for us to maximise he potential," said Visit Derry's general manager Odhran Dunne.

"The pick up has been amazing for only one series going on to international streaming and because of it we've had a lot of showbiz and entertainment journalists engaging with us, whereas we are used to travel and tourism journalists.

"The target audience for the programme is younger, which is not usually our demographic of visitors to the city, so it's definitely given us additional hooks to attract people here which is fantastic."