Belfast Telegraph

City's hotels virtually booked out during World Police Games

BY CLARE WEIR

Hotel rooms in Belfast recorded almost 100% occupancy during the World Police and Fire Games, a new record for the city.

Visit Belfast chief executive Gerry Lennon said total revenue of hotels booked through the tourism organisation amounted to £1.73m, with almost 37,000 bed nights sold. There was almost 100% occupancy in the period, compared to the eight-year August 77.7% average.

Visitors from the USA, Canada, Australia, Russia, Mexico and Brazil were more numerous than closer neighbours from countries like Sweden, Spain, and Germany.

With 2013 also proving to be a record year for cruises with 58 coming to the city this summer, and almost 60 conferences bringing in more than 20,000 delegates, Belfast is certainly booming.

And Lord Mayor of Belfast Mairtin O Muilleoir said that there is even more good news to come.

"I am already attending planning meetings for Giro d'Italia next May but there is so much more to look forward to between now and then," he said.

"This week tens of thousands will enjoy the Tennent's Vital concerts and I launched the Mela Indian festival, now established as a major event on our cultural calendar.

"We must keep our eyes on the prize. And that means working together to send out positive messages about our city and ensuring that when the world media focuses on Belfast, it is for the right reasons."

Alderman Gavin Robinson, chairman of Belfast City Council's Strategic Policy and Resources Committee, added that tourism is a key part of the city council's £150m investment programme.

"These figures underline the importance of such an investment as we need to ensure our levels of service and facilities continue to improve in order to maintain the momentum," he said.

"The success of the games underlines the importance of bringing major events to Belfast and our ability to put on a world-class show."

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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