Belfast aiming to bring in £0.5bn from tourism by 2022
Tourism agency Visit Belfast is seeking an economic return from tourism of over £0.5bn over the next four years, it has announced.
Visit Belfast unveiled the targets as part of its Business and Marketing Plans launch for the years ahead.
The city's official tourism marketing agency pledged its sales and marketing-focused activities would help to deliver the economic return.
For 2018-19 alone, Visit Belfast is pledging to return £130m to the city as part of a ramp-up in its efforts to push the sector.
Its combined target for the four years to 2022 is £546m.
Visit Belfast said activities to drive higher numbers of inbound business leisure tourists in the year ahead - including an 18% swell in numbers arriving on cruise ships to 235,000 - would help deliver the newly-set target.
It also said it's sticking to its aim to help double the economic value of the city's tourism industry from out-of-state visitors by 2021 as part of Belfast City Council's Belfast Agenda.
Speaking at the launch of Visit Belfast's plans at Titanic Hotel Belfast, Lord Mayor of Belfast Nuala McAllister said: "Belfast is buzzing. You can see it and feel it and I'm delighted as First Citizen to share in the city's excitement as we look forward to marking new progress and achieving new milestones in the years ahead."
Last year, Visit Belfast booked in a combined 475,000 leisure and conference bed nights, won 95 new conference events and secured a record-beating 117 cruise ship.
Visit Belfast chairman Howard Hastings said: "We're committed to doubling the economic value of tourism from out-out-state visitors and to ensuring Belfast and its citizens realise the benefits from a vibrant tourism sector which drives opportunity and ensures this city continues to grow its reputation as a truly great place in which to do business, to invest in, live in and to visit.
"However, the real cornerstones of success remain in the hands of many others - those who meet and greet, serve and transport our visitors to those who are developing businesses, hotels, restaurants, cafes, bars and new products to support this growth."