Belfast Telegraph

Delegation of 30 world journalists lands in city

By David Reed

A group of almost 30 international journalists have arrived in Belfast to see how Northern Ireland has been transformed in the 20 years since the Good Friday Agreement.

Journalists and broadcasters from 16 countries including Japan, China and Australia are represented as part of the Foreign Press Association (FPA) delegation.

Belfast and Northern Ireland's success in driving tourism growth, investment and economic return is a key theme during the two-day event.

Today the journalists will visit Londonderry, exploring the potential impacts of Brexit by gauging local opinion and expert insights, as well as experiencing the city's cultural tourism offering.

A visit to Belfast's Titanic Quarter has been arranged, along with a variety of tours and experiences which take in all quarters and communities of the city, representing the past, present and the future.

The event is facilitated by the NIO, hosted by Visit Belfast and supported by Tourism Ireland.

Welcoming the correspondents to the city, Visit Belfast chief executive Gerry Lennon said: "I am very proud that such a large and esteemed group of respected international journalists and editors from the Foreign Press Association has travelled to Belfast to hear about our tourism renaissance.

"With focus, significant investment and a commitment from government and industry, Belfast and Northern Ireland is now a real contender on the global tourism map, successfully and confidently competing for visitors as one of the world's leading tourist destinations.

"Propelled by millions of pounds of public and private investment in tourism infrastructure, delivering world class attractions and events, Belfast is firmly recognised as an exciting, vibrant and forward-looking city."

Since the Good Friday Agreement was signed, overnight stays in Belfast have more than tripled from 500,000 a year to over 1.5 million.

Tourism spending has risen to £335m from £84m during the period.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: "With journalists from prominent media outlets around the world visiting the city this week, it's a major coup for tourism and a superb opportunity to show them at first-hand what makes Belfast unique."

Belfast Telegraph

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