03 Nov 2011

Tourism Ireland is confident that this weekend’s MTV Europe Music Awards (EMAs) will provide a major boost for tourism to Northern Ireland.

In the run-up to the awards on Sunday, Tourism Ireland promotions have been targeting over 3 million music fans and potential holidaymakers in Great Britain, Canada and across Europe to maximise the tourism potential of this high profile event.  The organisation is using the unique opportunity of the MTV EMAs happening in Belfast to convince potential holidaymakers to come and visit the city and Northern Ireland.  The message is that “Belfast is Rocking”, that it is one of Europe’s coolest and most vibrant cities with a really dynamic music scene and a fascinating history steeped in music. 

Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland’s chief executive, said: “Given the massive exposure of the MTV EMAs through the media right across the world – it is broadcast each year to an estimated 632 million homes in over 150 countries – the high profile awards provide Tourism Ireland with a fantastic opportunity to highlight Belfast and Northern Ireland on the international stage.  The event is a great ‘hook’ for Tourism Ireland to leverage, helping us to reach a huge audience of potential holidaymakers.  As well as the millions of people everywhere who will watch the event on TV, a large media contingent is travelling here this weekend to cover the event, which will help to showcase Belfast and Northern Ireland in a really positive way around the world.

“The countdown to 2012 begins now.  It will be a busy and exciting time for Northern Ireland and a major opportunity for tourism with an exciting programme of events and the completion of iconic new attractions like Titanic Belfast and the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre.  Over the next year, Tourism Ireland will invest millions of pounds in the most extensive programme of marketing activity ever undertaken for Northern Ireland around the world.”

Tourism Ireland promotions, in advance of the MTV awards this weekend, have been targeting music fans in key tourism markets – including Great Britain, Canada, Italy, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Spain, the Nordic region and Belgium.  Activity is highlighting Belfast Music Week and includes a social media campaign through Facebook and Twitter, targeting Tourism Ireland’s fans in those countries.  A specially created page on Tourism Ireland’s website,, is encouraging music lovers to visit, with plenty of suggestions and ideas for things to do and see in and around Belfast and Northern Ireland.  And key British, European and American media contacts have been invited by Tourism Ireland to come and visit around the MTV EMAs. 

In Great Britain, Belfast’s music scene and the EMAs have also been highlighted to readers of, reaching an audience of about 2.7 million; and in the Netherlands, Tourism Ireland’s promotions have been placing the spotlight on the new bmibaby service from Amsterdam to Belfast, which began earlier this week. 


Further media information:
Clair Balmer/Elaine Moore, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 028 7035 9260  Mobile: 077 6652 7719

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 £210 million. 
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is; there are 42 different websites, providing information in 14 different languages covering every continent.  In 2010 attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.



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