Belfast rolled out the red carpet to welcome the two winners of Tourism Ireland’s recent “T’weetour” competition at the weekend. From the important business tourism sector, the winners were social media enthusiasts Louise Ridley, a reporter for Event magazine, and Michelle Tayton, director of Eventive Communications, a specialist agency for event suppliers.
During their time here, they visited some of Belfast’s most recognised and historical sites – while tweeting and blogging live about their experiences. They sampled some of Belfast’s venues for conferences, events and meetings – including the Waterfront Hall, Titanic Belfast, the recently-opened MAC, the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum and the Culloden Hotel. They also experienced some fun events which business delegates can enjoy here on the sidelines of their conference or meeting, including a Belfast Sea Safari, sampling some local produce in St George’s Market and a cookery demo at James Street South restaurant, interacting with locals and savouring aspects of our unique culture and heritage.
Tourism Ireland launched the “T’weetour”, a unique business tourism promotion, in Great Britain in May, targeting senior executives from ISES and ICCA* who are active in social media. Two of the five winners, Louise Ridley and Michelle Tayton, visited Belfast at the weekend, courtesy of Tourism Ireland. During their visit, they tweeted and blogged about their experiences – in a bid to highlight all that Belfast and Northern Ireland have to offer to other influential decision-makers in the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) sector and to help boost business tourism visitors from GB.
David Boyce, Tourism Ireland’s head of business and sports tourism, said: “We were delighted to welcome Louise and Michelle to Northern Ireland and show them some of what Belfast has to offer the important business tourism sector. We want to highlight ease of access, the great facilities and good value rates available for meetings and conferences here, as well as the great experiences delegates can enjoy on the sidelines of their meetings – showcasing the city as an excellent and enjoyable place to do business.
“Our T’weetour competition has allowed us to engage with the business tourism community in GB in an innovative and unique way. Social media plays an important role today and, with both winners tweeting and blogging about their experiences live, we aim to attract new business and promote Northern Ireland as a destination of choice for conferences and business events in the future.”
The two winners had an action-packed weekend as they stayed three days in Belfast. Highlights of their itinerary included a tour of Titanic Belfast; sampling local produce at St George’s market; a tour of Belfast by sea ; cookery demonstration in James Street South; a tour of the Gaeltacht quarter; and a visit to the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum.
Tourism Ireland’s busy programme of activity to grow business tourism from Great Britain this year includes a number of high profile events and promotions, which are highlighting ease of access, the great facilities and good value rates available for meetings and conferences here.
*ISES is the International Special Events Society, an organisation representing hundreds of professional events planners across GB; and ICCA is the International Congress and Convention Association, whose members organise international meetings and events.
Michelle Tayton and Louise Ridley, the winners of Tourism Ireland’s “T’weetour” competition, with Yvonne Carr, Tourism Ireland, and tour guide Hugh Rice, about to enjoy a Belfast Sea Safari.
Further media information:
Elaine Moore/Clair Balmer Tourism Ireland
Tel: 028 7035 9260 Mob: 07766 527719
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.
• In 2011, 1.5 million overseas visitors came to Northern Ireland (+4% on 2010), delivering revenue of £368 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 2011, discoverireland.com attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.