The Belfast Tourism Forum is a dedicated group of Nothern Ireland's most influential tourism professionals who are overseeing the implementation of the Belfast Tourism Integrated Strategic Framework 2010-2014 and ensuring that Belfast is a must visit destination.
Tourism is everybody's business and a key focus of the forum has been on ensuring that the enormous opportunities for Belfast, arising from the opening of Titanic Belfast and a year of globally inspiring events and festivals throughout 2012 and beyond, are maximised and benefit communities across the city.
Working in partnership the forum will deliver the authentic European City experience by developing and co-ordinating the city’s cultural, natural and commercial assets to attract a greater number of visitors to Belfast and maximise the economic benefits for the city and Northern Ireland.
The forum is focused on generating economic success throughout the city and across Northern Ireland by supporting the development of strong product, delivering a quality, authentic visitor experience, increasing visitor numbers and encouraging visitors to spend more money.
The implementation action plan has ambitious targets with include:
- increasing visitor numbers by 40 per cent to 2.38 million per year in 2014
- increasing visitor spend by 20 per cent to £294 million in 2014
- increasing 'bed-nights' (the hotel industry's measurement of occupancy) by 20 per cent to 4.7 million per year in 2014.
The forum meets quarterly throughout the year to ensure that the action plan is on track and challenges and generates debate through the discussion of issues focused on delivering a visitor inspired city. Topics discussed have included:
- the marketing campaigns being led by Tourism Ireland and Visit Belfast to attract visitors from the GB and international markets
- an overview of future major events which will help put Belfast on the global map
- industry engagement and communications strategy - discussion on how to ensure that people working in the city - from transport providers to hospitality, service and retail staff - are fully trained and knowledgeable about the city and its products.