Visit Belfast picked up a top industry award, beating London & Partners and The Hague Convention Bureau and Rotterdam Partners, in the hotly-contested ‘Destination Marketing Team of the Year’ category (was ‘award’) at the Conference & Incentive Travel Awards in London, 19 September 2014.

In recognition of Visit Belfast’s highly-successful conference sales strategy, the team was widely praised for its commitment and consistent hard work in delivering significant returns for the city within this highly-competitive arena.

The annual awards – judged by an international panel of industry experts – celebrate the very finest events taking place across the globe, and recognise the dynamism, best practice and event planning behind an array of global events and are widely watched by those within the industry.

The judging panel recognised that more than £1bn has been invested in Belfast over the last decade and is now one of the fastest growing meetings and conference destinations in the UK – an achievement that wouldn’t have been possible without the tireless work of Visit Belfast.

This is the latest in a series of accolades received by Visit Belfast, which have included the ‘Best UK Conference and Incentive City Destination’ at last year’s C&IT awards and the Marketing Team of the Year Award at the Meetings & Incentive Travel (MIMA) Awards.

Visit Belfast Chief Executive, Gerry Lennon, said:

“These awards are important as they not only put Belfast centre stage but position the city front of mind amongst industry leaders and key decision-makers looking for their next conference destination.

“Visit Belfast continuously works closely with the public and private sectors to bring together the venues, the hotels, transport providers and event services that are required to win and deliver world class conference events for Belfast.  With support from Belfast City Council and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, this award is testament to successful partnerships.”

Rachael McGuickin, Director of Business Tourism at Visit Belfast, added:

“I’m thrilled that the hard work and efforts of Team Belfast to promote Belfast as a destination of choice has been recognised by such an influential panel of industry leaders.

“Last year was our most successful year for conference sales and with the exciting expansion now underway at the Belfast Waterfront Hall, this is just the beginning of our ambitious plans to treble the number of conference visitors to the city by 2020.”

Visit Belfast is the destination marketing and visitor-servicing organisation for the Belfast City Region. Its main funders are Belfast City Council, Northern Ireland Tourist Board, its 570 private sector members, and key strategic partners Translink, Diageo and Value Cabs.