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Belfast launches its biggest-ever business tourism campaign

Belfast’s official tourism marketing agency, Visit Belfast, has launched a new marketing campaign designed to rapidly accelerate the volume of inbound business conferences and events taking place in the city.

Belfast Makes Sense aims to emphasise the importance of business tourism to Belfast and Northern Ireland and was developed by Visit Belfast with 13 major partners from the city’s tourism industry. Focused on Great Britain and international markets, the digital-led campaign is the largest dedicated business tourism marketing initiative ever undertaken by the city, incorporating a new website, video content, targeted advertising and public relations.

Visit Belfast chief executive, Gerry Lennon, said: “We’re a strong-performing city and we are ambitious. With a record 100 conferences secured since April and more than 150,000 delegate arrivals in the last five years alone, I’m excited that this collaborative, industry-led campaign will help in ensuring that our story and our strengths are widely shared.

“With our partners, we want to build on our achievements, to consolidate and strengthen our position and further increase our presence.

“In addition, with new hotel developments worth more than £150 million added in recent years, Belfast’s business tourism sector is well placed for further growth. I’m confident that Belfast Makes Sense will help to reinforce our growing international reputation as a quality business tourism destination.”

The campaign was developed through investment and collaboration of many of the city’s leading private and public sector organisations including Tourism Northern Ireland, ICC Belfast, TBL International, Queen’s University Belfast, George Best Belfast City Airport, British Airways and many of the city’s leading accommodation providers – Hastings Hotel Group, Andras Hotel Group, Dalata Hotel Group, Hilton Belfast, Ten Square Hotel and Titanic Hotel.

The Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland (ASGBI) was one of Belfast’s first significant clients to bring its annual conference to the newly-expanded ICC Belfast.

“Our Belfast conference was the most well-attended event we had in 10 years. The support we received from Visit Belfast, ICC Belfast and the city was invaluable,” ASGBI general manager Bhavnita Patel said.

“More than 1,100 delegates attended and were immediately made to feel like VIPs. The entire city, from taxi drivers to staff in hotels, bars and restaurants were aware that we were in town and they made us feel so welcome. I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Belfast to UK associations for conferences and events.”