Games bring £1 million boost to city`s hotels
8 May 2012
With another 16 months still to go, the World Police and Fire Games 2013 has already broken the £1 million accommodation revenue milestone.
From 1 – 10 August next year, the World Police and Fire Games (WPFG) will attract 25,000 visitors from more than 70 countries to Belfast and a variety of locations throughout Northern Ireland. To date, 22,000 bed spaces have been booked in hotels, guest houses and including university accommodation.
Mary Jo McCanny, Director Visitor Servicing of the Belfast Visitor and Convention Bureau, who are co-ordinating WPFG`s accommodation requirements, explains:
“This event is the biggest of its kind ever to be held in Belfast. The scale of it is both hugely exciting but also challenging in terms of meeting all the accommodation requirements over the extended 10 day period. We have been pro-actively engaging with the Service`s sporting bodies throughout the world and have already hosted familiarisation visits and block booked accommodation for participants from Germany, Belgium, Sweden and the UK.
“These teams have all been incredibly impressed by the quality and variety of accommodation that we are offering here and all the visits so far have translated into firm bookings. As well as this, we are also handling competitor enquiries from as far and wide as Brazil, South Africa, Russia, Canada and Australia who are in the process of booking their accommodation for the games.”
Alistair McGowan, WPFG Director of Marketing and Communications, adds:
“The World Police and Fire Games has a number of aims over and above the sporting aspect which naturally is at the core of the event. One of these is to boost the local economy by between £16 million and £21 million.
“Our experience of other Games which we have attended in preparation for next year is that participants not only enjoy the competition but also extend their visit to travel throughout, and holiday longer, in the host country. This provides Northern Ireland with a terrific opportunity to showcase its fantastic tourism offering which our guests can enjoy and then tell their folks back home. BVCB in partnership with NITB has done a great promotional job so far and we look forward to reaching another significant milestone very soon.”
Northern Ireland will be only the third European host in the Games history which were last held in New York in 2011. Commonly referred to as the `Olympics` for serving and retired police, fire, prison and border security officers, this biennial event consists of a wide range of individual and team sports including traditional sports such as athletics, soccer and boxing as well as others unique to the services, such as Ultimate Fire Fighter.
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