Belfast Telegraph

Hotel bookings hit £1m ahead of 2013 Police and Fire Games

By Clare Weir

Accommodation in Northern Ireland worth around £1m has already been booked almost a year and a half ahead of the World Police and Fire Games.

Experts say the event has the potential to boost the local economy by between £16m and £21m.

Being held in Belfast and locations across the province in August 2013, around 22,000 beds have been booked in hotels, B-amp;Bs and university accommodation.

The games are expected to attract 25,000 visitors from over 70 countries and will be the biggest of their kind ever to be held in and around Belfast.

Belfast Visitor and Convention Bureau (BVCB) has block-booked accommodation for participants from Germany, Belgium, Sweden and the UK and is handling inquiries from Brazil, South Africa, Russia, Canada and Australia.

Mary Jo McCanny, from BVCB, said: "The scale of it is both hugely exciting but also challenging in terms of meeting all the accommodation requirements over the extended 10-day period," she said.

"These teams have all been incredibly impressed by the quality and variety of accommodation that we are offering here and all the visits so far have translated into firm bookings."