The company which brought the MTV EMAs to Belfast was so impressed with the city’s ‘can do’ attitude, it has vowed to return.
Lord mayor Councillor Niall Ó Donnghaile said to expect announcementsof major events coming to the city in the weeks ahead.
“MTV are already coming back next year for a major concert on the slipways near to the iconic new Titanic Belfast building and they said to me they want to maintain the links with Belfast and build on the success of the past few days – it was their most successful EMAs ever,” he said.
Mr O’Donnghaile added that the “top brass” at MTV and its parent company Viacom had remarked on the ‘can do’ attitude of all who contributed to ensuring the EMAs were such a |success.
“CEOs from major global companies were blown away by the vibe and the atmosphere in the city, and many I spoke to were genuinely amazed at how different the reality was from any previous perceptions. We are now on the world map.
“The MTV executives said that no matter what they asked for they got that same response whether it was from the council, Tourist Board, the 90 local companies they deployed or the local people they directly employed on the day to work on the production.
“I have seen up close how hard council employees have worked night and day to bring the event to the city and then to ensure it was the success that it was – and I know that effort was repeated in the Tourist Board, the Belfast Welcome Centre and all the public and private sector organisations involved.
“The immediate effect of the awards is reflected in the fact that early indications from Belfast Welcome Centre are that it had almost a 40 per cent increase in footfall and 20 per cent increase in telephone enquires compared to the same period last year.
“On our own website, there were more than 250,000 page visits, nearly 50,000 views of our Flickr account - and the number of followers on our Facebook site has virtually doubled since August, now standing at more than 7,000 followers.
“It is just the start as we have the Christmas lights switch on and the hugely popular continental market coming up in the next couple of weeks. Then next year, we have the opening of Titanic Belfast and the accompanying series of major events throughout 2012, while it was announced yesterday that the Olympic flame is coming to Belfast on the 3rd and 6th June – the only city it will visit twice outside of London.
“In 2013, we’ve got the World Police and Fire Games, which is second only in size to the Olympics – and there is more to come too.
“It has been the most exciting time for the city in my lifetime, and the amazing thing is that it’s only going to get better!” he added.