24/01/2013

Arlene Foster Is 'Backin Belfast'

A new campaign to support Belfast traders in the wake of decreased footfall during the run-up to Christmas has been supported by Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster.

City businesses say they suffered during December – traditionally a lucrative month – as a result of violent protests and rioting over the removal of the union flag at Belfast City Hall.

The new 'Backin Belfast' campaign follows a series of meetings with councillors and local traders.

Minister Foster said: "Following a meeting with representatives of traders yesterday, my Department, through the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, has agreed to provide financial support to help with the promotion of the City Centre through the 'Backin Belfast' marketing campaign.

"Now, more than ever, it is vital that we support our local businesses during what are extremely trying trading conditions. We need a vibrant city centre and I would encourage everyone to support our shops, pubs and restaurants."

The campaign will include promotional offers for a range of activities throughout the city.

"The Backin Belfast campaign, which is being co-ordinated by Belfast Visitor and Convention Bureau and in consultation with Belfast City Council, will encourage people to come into the city whether it’s to shop, enjoy a meal or meet up with friends and enjoy the first class hospitality on offer," the Minister continued.

"The campaign aims to increase footfall and restore confidence amongst consumers through the use promotional offers from local businesses. The message is clear – Belfast is busy and buoyant. We want people to know that the city is open for business, a warm welcome waits and that there are many day and night time activities on offer."

Minister Foster concluded: "Belfast was voted one of the world's top destinations for 2012 by the National Geographic Traveller magazine and that is still the case. We spent a lot of time last year building up the image of Northern Ireland with our hugely successful NI2012 campaign and I will do everything I can to ensure a positive message continues to be delivered."

(IT)

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