Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

City set for £2m windfall after it wins bid to host global seminar

Belfast has won a tightly fought bid to host a global conference which will boost the economy by nearly £2m.

The International Measurement Confederation (IMEKO) chose Belfast over Germany, Brighton, Hungary and Glasgow and is expected to bring 1,000 scientists and engineers from 50 countries to these shores in 2018, according to Visit Belfast.

The agency said that would bring 6,000 bed nights for Northern Ireland's hotels which will provide £1.9m worth of "economic benefit".

IMEKO is a non-governmental federation which promotes "international interchange of scientific and technical information in the field of measurement and instrumentation and the enhancement of international co-operation among scientists and engineers from research and industry."

The conference win comes on the back of a successful few months for Belfast and Northern Ireland when it comes to hosting large events.

The World Police and Fire Games, MTV Music Awards and G8 have helped lay down a marker to show the facilities available on these shores.

Confirmation of the winning bid for the IMEKO was made on Sunday night in London where the final competition stage was held.

The five-day event, which has previously been hosted by Croatia, Korea, Brazil and Portugal, will bring together academia, researchers and engineers to share achievements, ideas and vision on metrology – the science of measurement. The congress will also provide forums for experts and professionals from all around the world to discuss topics that deal with recent advancement in the wide spectrum of metrologies.

Gerry Lennon, chief executive at Visit Belfast, said: "This latest conference win is a great boost to Belfast's already strong conference reputation and underlines the great strides the city has made in attracting business tourism from across the globe.

"Belfast has a wealth of expertise and knowledge that allows us to target national and international conferences relating to disciplines ranging from business, arts, law, medicine and engineering to research and academia.

"The benefits of hosting major conferences and business events extend across the hospitality, retail and tourism sectors, delivering a welcome boost to the city's economy. Congratulations to everyone involved," he said.

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