VisitBritain has announced that its flagship annual travel trade event, Explore Great Britain & Northern Ireland, is to be held in Belfast.
The event, VisitBritain’s largest annual travel trade event, will next year being held at the International Convention Centre on May 18th-20th.
It will see hundreds of international buyers meeting travel industry suppliers from across the UK to do business.
Buyers and journalists from the UK’s largest inbound visitor markets including Australia, France, Germany and the US are expected to attend as well as from Brazil, Canada, China, India and the GCC markets.
UK tourism minister, Helen Whately, said: “The tourism industry is one of our nation’s greatest strengths and its benefits are felt economically and socially in every corner of the UK.
“Belfast is a fantastic city and offers visitors from around the world a huge array of things to do and see.
“I am delighted that VisitBritain’s flagship event will be hosted at the ICC Belfast to showcase the city and the UK on a global scale.”
Next year’s event is set to host international buyers and journalists who will meet and do business with travel industry suppliers from across England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
VisitBritain chief executive, Sally Balcombe, said: “We are delighted to be bringing our flagship travel trade event to Belfast in 2020.
“From its world-class museums, iconic maritime history and stunning parklands to its thriving arts, music and culinary scene, Belfast is a fantastic destination to highlight the breadth and quality of our tourism offer to international buyers.”
As well as two-days of pre-scheduled one-to-one business appointments, buyers and international journalists will also attend seminars, workshops and networking events to boost their knowledge of the UK as a visitor destination.
Delegates will also experience tourism products and services first-hand with pre-event educational trips to destinations across the country.
Tourism Northern Ireland chief executive, John McGrillen, added: “Winning this very prestigious bid to host VisitBritain’s premier travel trade event presents a huge opportunity for Northern Ireland and we are very proud that Belfast was selected from a competitive list of cities throughout the UK.
“More than 200 highly influential international buyers from more than 30 countries will experience the best of Northern Ireland’s tourism and hospitality offering next May and discover first-hand what the destination has to offer their international visitors.”