Belfast Telegraph

Belfast International Arts Festival launched in New York

Belfast International Arts Festival 2017 was launched in New York this week.

The event was attended by Belfast’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Nuala McAllister, and by Richard Wakely, Director of the Belfast International Arts Festival, with guests including US arts and lifestyle journalists, as well as representatives of the travel trade and businesses in the city.

Footage from previous festivals was shown during the evening and, to provide a “taste of Northern Ireland” for the guests, the food and drinks were co-ordinated by New York’s award-winning bar, the Dead Rabbit, which is owned by two Belfast men.

Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Head of North America said: “We were delighted to co-host the New York launch of this year’s Belfast International Arts Festival.

"Events and festivals like the Belfast International Arts Festival are a really important part of our overall tourism offering and are a key message in our promotions of Northern Ireland around the world – particularly to our ‘culturally curious’ audience.

“In 2016, we welcomed a quarter of a million North American visitors to Northern Ireland and the most recent figures for 2017 confirm growth of +31% in the first quarter.

"Tourism Ireland is determined to ensure that growth continues and we are rolling out an extensive programme of promotions throughout the remainder of 2017, to highlight Northern Ireland here in the United States and elsewhere around the world.”

The Belfast International Arts Festival will run from Friday,October 6 to Saturday, October 28 2017, extending to Sunday, December 3 2017 for events relating to Poppies: Weeping Window.

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