Business Tourism Boost As Belfast Hosts VisitBritain Conference

Hundreds of international travel industry stakeholders are set for Belfast next year as VisitBritain hosts its flagship annual travel trade event in the city.

'Explore Great Britain (GB) and Northern Ireland' will bring buyers from the UK's largest inbound visitor markets to the ICC, including from the US, Brazil, Australian Germany, China.

The event is scheduled from 18-20 May 2020, boosting Northern Ireland's portfolio as a reputable event destination. Previous cities to host the event held annually since 2014 include Harrogate, Brighton, Liverpool and Ascot.

International buyers and journalists will meet and do business with travel industry suppliers from across England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

VisitBritain Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said the city has a lot to offer.

"We are delighted to be bringing our flagship travel trade event to Belfast in 2020. From its world-class museums, iconic maritime history and stunning parklands to its thriving arts, music and culinary scene, Belfast is a fantastic destination to highlight the breadth and quality of our tourism offer to international buyers.
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"Tourism is one of the UK's most valuable export industries and also one of the most globally competitive, which is why ExploreGB and Northern Ireland is such a valuable business tool. It gives travel suppliers and destinations the chance to present their products to top global buyers, forge international business connections and ultimately inspire more visitors to book a trip to the UK, boosting local economies."

Tourism NI Chief Executive John McGrillen welcomed the announcement as a "huge opportunity for Northern Ireland".

"We are very proud that Belfast was selected from a competitive list of cities throughout the UK," he commented.

"More than 200 highly influential international buyers from more than 30 countries will experience the best of Northern Ireland's tourism and hospitality offering next May and discover first-hand what the destination has to offer their international visitors."

As well as two-days of pre-scheduled one-to-one business appointments, buyers and international journalists will also attend seminars, workshops and networking events to boost their knowledge of the UK as a visitor destination. Delegates will also experience tourism products and services first-hand with pre-event educational trips to destinations across the country.


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