Belfast tourist chiefs signal £45m conference bonanza
Conference tourism will be worth a record breaking £45 million to the Belfast economy over the coming years, tourist chiefs said.
More than 30,000 delegates will visit the city this year, according to business promotion organisation Visit Belfast.
High-profile gatherings which are due to take place in Belfast from 2016 onwards include the Royal College of Nursing's Annual Congress, which will bring 5,000 delegates to Belfast in 2018.
The Congress - the largest ever - will also see around 100 meetings and social events take place in a number of venues across the city over five days, bringing an expected £5 million in economic benefit for the city.
Suzanne Wylie, chief executive of Belfast City Council, said: "Business tourism in Belfast has gone from strength to strength in recent years, and the city now competes with the very best.
"2016 will be a watershed year for Belfast, with the re-opening of the Belfast Waterfront allowing us to welcome bigger conferences than ever before."
Visit Belfast said conferences in the city will generate a record-breaking £45 million worth of economic benefit over the next few years.
Conference tourism represents an important sector of the tourism economy in Belfast.
As well as bringing mid-week, year-round trade for the tourism and hospitality industries and complementing the growing leisure tourism market in the city, business travellers and conference delegates are typically high-spending visitors that bring trade to a wide range of local businesses.