Belfast bags Inner Wheel Clubs conference

Belfast has won its bid to host the 2009 annual conference for the Association of Inner Wheel Clubs of Great Britain and Ireland. The event is expected to draw about 2,000 delegates and will be held at a number of venues throughout the city. The main conference will be held at the city’s Waterfront Hall. Inner Wheel Clubs of Great Britain & Ireland association president Anne Thatcher said the organisation had hosted its 2006 conference – the most successful on record – in Belfast. “We are excited to be returning to the city in 2009 and pay tribute to the support given by Belfast City Council and Belfast Visitor & Convention Bureau (BVCB) to enable us to do so,” said Thatcher. Belfast was up against other destinations in the UK to win the business and its success comes on the back of a number of other conference wins that are expected to generate £6m for the economy and draw more than 10,000 delegates to the city. Conference bureau manager Belinda Hawthorne said the Inner Wheel Clubs conference would cap a busy 2009 for the destination. “Other prestigious events that BVCB has assisted in securing include the British Congress of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, National Federation of Roofing Contractors in 2010, and International Seed Federation in May 2011, which will see members from 70 countries converge on Belfast,” said Hawthorne. More than £1bn has been invested in Belfast’s tourism infrastructure since the BVCB was established in 1999.

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