A joint initiative between Tourism NI, Visit Derry and Visit Belfast was launched the week of 9th March in Derry~Londonderry to support the recovery of international business events hosted in the area, part funded through the Tourism Recovery Action Plan.
The Ambassador Circle seeks to grow the number of international business events hosted in the city and promote the area and Northern Ireland as a leading business and events destination.
The initiative will bring together business and academic leaders in advanced manufacturing, technology, life & health sciences, food & drink, and financial, professional & business services from the North West to help identify, target, and attract key business events and conferences to come to Derry~Londonderry.
John McGrillen, Chief Executive of Tourism NI said:
“10X Economy Vision and the Tourism Recovery Action Plan set out bold ambitions for the economic recovery and future growth of Northern Ireland. International meetings and business events play an important part in this. International research commissioned by Tourism NI indicates that the number one factor in attracting a conference or a meeting to a destination, is the destination’s international reputation for expertise in that sector. I am confident that by working closely in collaboration with The Ambassador Circle, we can harness the support of Northern Ireland’s business, education and research talent to attract even more national and international business events to the region, boosting visitor numbers and spend, and supporting the long-term recovery of our tourism industry.
Today’s launch is another important milestone in our plan to recovery and is one of a range of new initiatives we have launched in partnership with our industry and stakeholders to rebuild and grow business events. Despite intense competition, our research clearly shows there is much untapped potential for business tourism, with opportunities across Northern Ireland.”
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Graham Warke, added: “Partnership working is vitally important to enhancing the profile of the region as a dynamic and exciting place to do business, and I am delighted to see this joint initiative being launched today. The Ambassador Circle has the capacity to really build on the fantastic foundations that the North West, and N. Ireland as a whole, have already established in terms of growing our international business networks. Collectively we can accelerate recovery by boosting our business tourism offering by drawing on the expertise and talent leading the way across a range of sectors in the spheres of business, research and education. I look forward to seeing the potential of the region being further unlocked through this new initiative.”
Odhran Dunne, CEO Visit Derry says “90% of business events come to the city through the support of a local ambassador. We work with an extensive network of academic, medical and corporate professionals within our key sectors. We rely on their experience and influence to attract business events to the region. The new Ambassador Circle is key to our success in attracting conferences and will act as a catalyst to inspire and motivate our local ambassadors to actively seek opportunities to host business events that will support the district’s tourism economy”.