This year marks a special anniversary for Belfast, as Visit Belfast celebrates its 20th anniversary. It’s been a remarkable couple of decades for the city, with continued tourism growth and investment transforming Belfast into one of the world’s most vibrant events destinations.
The city has also earned a flurry of industry awards. New records have been set for business tourism sales, with 112 new conference and events secured, up 47% on last year - representing a 33% growth in delegates, 16% in economics and 13% in bed nights.
"Our members still talk about the experience in Belfast. One of the reasons why we moved the event to Belfast was the great value it represented and the great facilities on offer," said Garth Halliday, Renewable UK.
And the word is spreading. The city was recognised as the second fastest growing knowledge economy in the UK (Catalyst Inc) and the third largest growing office market in the world; an acknowledgement of the growing number of companies locating to the city.
"We were really taken aback by how many delegates wanted to come and join us in Belfast. We exceeded our expectations - we had far more numbers than we expected," said Mark Pemberton, Association of British Orchestras.
In 2019, Belfast secured six MICE industry events, bringing more than 700 international buyers to the city. The events included the C&IT Agency Forum, and Corporate Summit, HelmsBriscoe’s EMEA conference and more.
It’s been an exceptional journey, just 20 years on from the Good Friday Agreement tourism has been the economic peace dividend for Belfast. With an investment package of £1bn announced through the Belfast Region City deal earlier in 2019, the city is gearing up for the next 20 years of transformational growth.
48 hotels – with a further 17 at the planning stages
5,543 rooms – with a further 2013 to be added
530 direct flights per week
60+ meeting venues
194 destinations serviced by Belfast and Dublin
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