As part of its push to grow conference and business tourism to Northern Ireland from Great Britain and around the world, Tourism Ireland this week welcomed an important conference to Belfast.
One hundred decision-makers from Britain and Ireland were in Belfast to attend the ‘Summer Summit’, a three-day conference which brought together five of the largest associations involved in the conference and meetings industry: ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association), MIA (Meetings Industry Association), ABPCO (Association of British Professional Conference Organisers), MPI (Meeting Professionals International) and AIPCO (Association of Irish Professional Conference Organisers).
Tourism Ireland was one of the main sponsor’s of this year’s Summer Summit. Speaking at the event, which took place in Belfast’s Waterfront Hall, David Boyce, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Business & Sports Tourism, said: "Hosting the Summer Summit in Belfast presents us with an excellent opportunity to showcase the city, and Northern Ireland, as a premier conference and business tourism destination. Belfast is now recognised as a major European conference destination with world-class conference space and accommodation on offer and it is important for the decision-makers and influential buyers attending the Summer Summit to see what we have to offer at first-hand.
“Business tourism is an extremely important, high-yield sector delivering significant economic benefits and Tourism Ireland has a busy promotional programme under way in Britain this year to grow business and conference tourism for Northern Ireland.”
Tourism Ireland has stepped up its efforts to grow this type of tourism business for Northern Ireland in 2011, with particular focus on the association conference sector. The organisation’s business tourism campaign in GB this year is promoting ease of access to Northern Ireland and professionalism on the ground; highlighting the good value rates available for meetings and conferences from hotels and other suppliers; and emphasising the world-class conference and meetings facilities available here. Tourism Ireland is also showcasing the great experiences delegates can enjoy here on the sidelines of their conference or meeting, interacting with locals and savouring various aspects of Northern Ireland’s unique culture and heritage.
Dame Mary Peters (pictured) was one of the keynote speakers at the ‘Summer Summit’ conference in Belfast.
Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland t: +353 87 685 9027
Notes to Editors:
• Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
• Tourism is responsible for in excess of 4.9% of GDP in Northern Ireland and supports approximately 40,000 jobs.
• Approximately 1.4 million overseas visitors came to Northern Ireland in 2010, delivering revenue of approximately €256 million.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.discoverireland.com; there are 42 different websites, providing information in 14 different languages covering every continent. In 2010 discoverireland.com attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.