Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Let's show world Northern Ireland mean business

Wouldn't it be great if it was like this all the time?, hollers Van Morrison in Coney Island. The phrase was also used in a very successful advertising campaign to help encourage Northern Ireland's population to say Yes to the Good Friday Agreement in the early '90s and will be remembered fondly by people of a certain age, ie the Belfast Telegraph business desk.

Well in a couple of days we'll probably all be uttering the same words, as the notepads, cameras and microphones of the world's press point towards us, asking not questions of about our historical conflict but addressing queries of global importance to the world leaders here for a spot of decision making and debate.

In similar mega-events like the Olympics, the travelling media pack has nearly outnumbered the attendees and at the G8 that will more than likely be the case.

Savvy marketers realise that targeting this group is the right way to get Northern Ireland to a huge global audience.

Tourism Ireland have been running journalist trips to Fermanagh to give the "G8 experience" in the preceding weeks.

"An event like G8 puts us into a different league. They (journalists) will be throwing a spotlight on Fermanagh and will put us onto the international arena," Tourism Ireland boss Niall Gibbons told the Belfast Telegraph.

And they're also going after a section of the tourism industry that we've lost over the last few years: business tourists.

Mr Gibbons said an average business tourist spends four times more than a vacationing tourist so the more we can get to these these shores the better.

If we can pull off the biggest events of the global business calendar on Monday and Tuesday, then surely we can attract a few more conferences in the coming years?

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