New Ambassador’s Circle launched to promote NI as a premier international destination for business and events


A new initiative, the Ambassador Circle, has been launched to target and dramatically increase the number of international business events held in Northern Ireland and promote Northern Ireland as a premier business and event destination .

The Ambassador Circle will bring together business leaders and academics in advanced manufacturing, technology, life and health sciences, food and beverage, and financial, professional and business services to help identify, target and attract key business events and conferences in the region.

This is a joint initiative between Invest NI, Visit Belfast, Tourism NI and Visit Derry.

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Gerry Lennon, Managing Director of Visit Belfast, John McGrillen, Managing Director of Tourism Northern Ireland, Kevin Holland, Managing Director of Invest NI and Sarah Gribben, Head of the Ambassador Circle Program

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons said: “My department’s 10X Economic Vision and Tourism Recovery Action Plan sets bold ambitions for Northern Ireland’s economic recovery and future growth . International meetings and events play an important role here.

“Business events and conferences generate demand mid-week and year-round for our sites, hotels and hospitality. They also have the unique ability and power to showcase the incredible and leading skills, knowledge and innovation that exist at NI, putting the region on the map as an exciting place to visit, do business and invest. .

“I therefore applaud the efforts of Invest NI, Visit Belfast, Tourism NI and Visit Derry to create The Ambassador Circle to harness the support of local business, research and academia leaders to attract more companies and conferences to NI. “

John McGrillen, Managing Director of Tourism NI, continued: “An international study commissioned by Tourism NI indicates that the number one factor in attracting a conference or meeting to a destination is the destination’s international reputation for its expertise in that industry.

“I am confident that by working closely with The Ambassador Circle and leveraging our compelling strengths within NI, we can mobilize the support of NI business, educational and research talent to attract even more events. domestic and international trade in the region, increase visitor numbers and spending, and support the long-term recovery of our tourism industry.

“Following the recent announcement of our enhanced conference support, the launch is another important milestone and is part of a series of new initiatives that we plan to launch in partnership with our industry and stakeholders over the coming months. to reconstruct and develop business events. . Despite intense competition, our research clearly shows that there is untapped potential for business tourism, with opportunities through NI.

Supporting the new initiative, Kevin Holland, CEO of Invest NI, explained: “In addition to providing immediate economic benefits, trade events provide a premier opportunity to showcase NI as a place to invest and do business. . This can lead to legacy benefits such as growing trade, stimulating innovation and attracting investment in our key industries.

“The Circle of Ambassadors includes five new advisory committees made up of appointed business leaders and academics. They focus specifically on key areas where NI has existing and growing strength. Panel members will play a central role in identifying business events that could be hosted in NI. We are delighted to be a key partner in the implementation of this new initiative, and I look forward to working with the new Ambassadors. “

Gerry Lennon, Managing Director of Visit Belfast, added: “About 80% of corporate events take place in Belfast and NI thanks to the support of an Ambassador – a business or academic leader who can help us attract events in the region within their sector. The original Belfast Ambassador program was created by Visit Belfast over 20 years ago and has been key to our success in attracting conferences to the city area.

“The launch of the Ambassador Circle marks a new era of collaboration between tourism, economic development, education and research, which will be game-changing for the recovery and development of tourism.

For more information on how we can help you organize your conference, meeting or event in Belfast, or how to become an Ambassador, contact Sarah Gribben at Visit Belfast [email protected] and for more information visit

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