Lonely Planet, the travel book series, has named Derry/Londonderry as one of the top ten places to visit in 2013, according to the Irish Times.
The Northern Irish city won fourth place on the annual Best list because “this vibrant, historic walled city is undergoing a renaissance.” The guide continues, saying that in 2013 the city will host 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.”
Next year will also see an increase in the celebration of Earhart Festival, which will mark the 80th anniversary of pilot Amelia Earhart’s landing in a field in Derry.
Lonely Planet’s Tom Hall praised the city when he told the Belfast Telegraph, “Best in Travel is all about identifying destinations which offer the traveler something special. Derry is a brilliant example of a city that has bounced back from difficult times. This is a city with heart, which shines through in its exciting arts and music scene.”
Tourism Ireland was thrilled with the news. Chief executive of Tourism Ireland, Niall Gibbons said the press “couldn’t have come at a better time as the city prepares to take the international spotlight as the UK City of Culture.” Lonely Planet’s ranking gives, “Tourism Ireland yet another opportunity to promote the city as a ‘must-see’ destination in our marketing activities around the world.”
Lonely Planet said they create the lists based on input from their staff, writers, and the online community. Spokesman Adam Bennett explained that the list does not look at where people are already visiting, which explains the absence of big cities such as London and New York, which consistently attract tourists. Instead they make “our pick on where we believe travellers really should consider visiting in 2013.” Special events and recent developments can help a city make the Lonely Planet’s list.
The Top Ten Cities to Visit Next Year:
1 San Francisco, USA
2 Amsterdam, Netherlands
3 Hyderabad, India
4 Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland
5 Beijing, China
6 Christchurch, New Zealand
7 Hobart, Australia
8 Montreal, Canada
9 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
10 Puerto Iguazu, Argentina
The history behind “When Irish Eyes are Smiling”