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Belfast joins forces with diaspora to forge bright future

27 Sep 2017
Global business people with links to Belfast are set to join forces with local leaders of industry next week to tackle some of the big challenges facing tourism, infrastructure and the built environment of Belfast.

The fourth annual Belfast International Homecoming will take place from 4 – 6 October at a number of high profile locations in the city, including Belfast City Hall, the newly opened Titanic Hotel and the Royal Courts of Justice.

Delegates from government and the international creative, legal and technology industries will come together with city mayors, entrepreneurs, investors and artists from New York, Boston and further afield to discuss the best way to navigate the challenges of the future, including Brexit.

The Homecoming will culminate with a Business and Investment Conference, on Friday 6 October at the Titanic Hotel.

Over 50 local and international speakers will take to the stage with a focus on building a better Belfast. Topics will include ‘Building diversity into Belfast’s DNA’, ‘Building our economy through the big screen’ and ‘Building a tourism sector to drive the new economy’.

Keynote speakers for the 2017 conference include Peter Fitzgerald, founder of Randox; Dereck Mackay MSP, Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution; Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell, New York State Assembly ; Stefan Sanders, Head of HighSpeed Rail Business, UKMEA for Arup; Jackie Henry, Senior Partner Deloitte; and Gorka Urtaran, Mayor of Vitoria-Gaisteiz, Basque Country

The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Nuala McAllister said:

“This is a very exciting time for Belfast and our reputation as a city full of ambition, optimism and energy goes from strength to strength.

“This is reflected in our long-term strategy for the city – our Belfast Agenda – and our new brand identity which is reinvigorating the image of a ‘Global Belfast’ as we seek to create new jobs, secure investment, and build on our growing reputation as a must-see destination for tourists.

“We’re also shining a spotlight on our culture as we bid to become European Capital of Culture in 2023, in partnership with Derry City and Strabane District Council – a really exciting project which has the potential to unleash even more energy around our culture and arts offering.

“And now at this Homecoming Conference, we welcome back our greatest supporters; those who call Belfast home, and who champion this great city each and every day on our behalf.”

Dr. Howard Hastings OBE, chair of Visit Belfast and host of Belfast International Homecoming, commented:

“The Homecoming is a valuable conference for Belfast. It gives our business, political and community leaders the opportunity to engage with our friends who live and work in different countries. Their lessons and perspectives can offer valuable insight which can guide and inform the direction of travel for our own businesses.

“Earlier this year Visit Belfast unveiled ambitious plans to create a billion-pound tourism industry by 2020 and conferences such as Homecoming provide a platform to demonstrate what we can offer a global audience and gain feedback which can support our future offering.”

For more information on this year’s International Homecoming, please visit:
the Belfast International Homecoming takes place from 4 - 6 October the Belfast International Homecoming takes place from 4 - 6 October