Irish offer survives shelved Assembly

Tourism Ireland is to continue with its full marketing plan despite the suspension of the Northern Ireland Assembly. Under the Good Friday Agreement, the body markets the island as a whole. Tourism Ireland C&I executive for Britain Kate Cooper said she has been given the go ahead to continue as normal. “There has been no change in our plans and we are currently putting together the final touches to our strategy for next year’s marketing,” she said. “The reverse back to Westminster is a setback for politics but tourism remains unharmed.” Belfast Visitor & Convention Bureau (BVCB) director Kate Tunney also said there have been no cancellations from groups. “The change in administration has not had any impact on our promotional activity. Clients have not been asking about the situation and in fact, recently, the BVCB has been very pro-active in promotion.” The BVCB and Belfast Waterfront Hall held a reception in Brussels for buyers the day after the Assembly was suspended. Tunney said the suspension was not an issue and while the subject was raised, it had no bearing on decisions to book. UK agency IBR business development manager Paul Girdler agreed the suspension was not an issue. “It is quite safe. I pitched Belfast to two clients and it is still an option for both of them.” Future business into Belfast includes the Vascular Surgical Society of Great Britain & Ireland event in November.

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