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Hilton Belfast to host conference as £10m refurbishment unveiled

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From left: Simon Hamilton, CEO Belfast Chamber of Commerce & Trade; Mark Walker, GM Hilton Belfast, and Gerry Lennon, CEO Visit Belfast

From left: Simon Hamilton, CEO Belfast Chamber of Commerce & Trade; Mark Walker, GM Hilton Belfast, and Gerry Lennon, CEO Visit Belfast

From left: Simon Hamilton, CEO Belfast Chamber of Commerce & Trade; Mark Walker, GM Hilton Belfast, and Gerry Lennon, CEO Visit Belfast

Hilton Belfast is to unveil its new facilities this weekend after a £10m refurbishment and expansion to reach 202 bedrooms and suites.

The work at the hotel, on Lanyon Place in the city, will be finished in time for Sunday when it plays host to an international business travel conference.

The HelmsBriscoe's European, Middle Eastern and Africa (EMEA) regional meeting, which is also sponsored by Hilton, is set to go ahead despite fears over the spread of the coronavirus.

The Northern Ireland Tourism Alliance is also holding an emergency summit today to discuss the impact of coronavirus on tourism. Mark Walker, general manager of Hilton Belfast, said that the refurbishment was a "significant investment" that demonstrates Hilton's commitment to "constantly innovating and improving the visitor experience, and - importantly - our confidence in Belfast, an increasingly popular visitor destination for city breaks and conferences".

He added that the investment would also "maintain our competitive edge as we continue to welcome visitors from all over the world to Belfast". The £10m investment was welcomed by Gerry Lennon, chief executive of Visit Belfast.

"Belfast's tourism industry and in particular our hoteliers, have been central to the city's renaissance and regeneration of recent years so we welcome this latest investment in our world-class hotel portfolio," he said. "When the Hilton Belfast opened in 1998 it was one of the first international brands to invest in Belfast.

"That investment acted as a catalyst for wider tourism investment and since then, 24 new hotels and numerous refurbishments have amounted to multi-millions of pounds of private sector investment.

"Belfast's hotels now provide close to 5,000 rooms; and last year, nearly 1.4 million bed nights were sold generating over £108m in room revenue for the city economy.

"Investment encourages investment and the refurbishment and renovation of the Hilton Belfast continues to set the highest of standards that will support wider accommodation sector in welcoming more and more visitors to Belfast."

Belfast Chamber chief executive Simon Hamilton said "despite the uncertainty of recent years, the business community in Belfast has remained resilient and committed to investing in and growing the city's economy".

"I congratulate Hilton for demonstrating that commitment by delivering first-class facilities for thousands of visitors that stay there each year through this important investment," he added.

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