Visit Belfast strengthens business events sales team to drive ambitious recovery and growth plans
Visit Belfast appoints industry stalwart Lisa Stewart as GB Business Events Sales Manager
Visit Belfast has appointed Lisa Stewart to its business events team in a strategic move to further enhance its position as a destination of choice in the GB MICE market.
With more than 20 years’ experience promoting long and short haul destinations in the UK market, Lisa has an impressive track record of leading the MICE departments of her former destination representation agencies, managing their UK sales and marketing activities for high profile destinations including Berlin, Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, and Austin.
Lisa joins the award-winning business team at Visit Belfast at a hugely promising time – Belfast was recently named the 2021 Best Events Destination at the Conference & Incentive Travel (C&IT) Awards and shortlisted for three further industry accolades, the MIA Best Destination Team, ABPCO’s Excellence Awards for Corporate Social Responsibility and the Global Destinations Sustainability Index Most Improved Destination Award.
Visit Belfast is also on track to double its sales performance this year as part of its ambitious recovery strategy and the team has an impressive forward bookings calendar of over 118 national and international events to 2029, worth almost £80m to the city. These include the high profile One Young World 2023 event and Microbiology Society Annual conference in 2022.
Welcoming her appointment, Visit Belfast’s Director of Business Development Rachael McGuickin said:
“I’m delighted that Lisa is joining us at a crucial time in our journey to rebuild and grow business events for Belfast and Northern Ireland. With her experience working with some of the world’s leading MICE destinations combined with her extensive network of GB corporate and agency clients, Lisa is a great addition to our award-winning team. Her expertise, particularly in the corporate market, compliments the very experienced association team at Visit Belfast and her appointment will undoubtedly help us to not only recover but realise our ambitious growth plans for the future.”
A post graduate in International Relations, Lisa is a proactive member of a number leading industry bodies including MPI UK&I, SITEGB, ICCA UK&I and ABPCO and has also worked with a number of national and international hotel groups.
Lisa Stewart said:
“Belfast has gained a reputation as one of the world’s most exciting and up and coming destinations for business events. I’m thrilled to join such a passionate and dedicated team selling a destination that has an unrivalled reputation for always going the extra mile, and doing so with a friendly, flexible and collaborative approach in doing business that is so important for clients today. I have been so impressed by what Belfast has to offer and I look forward to raising awareness of this amongst event planners and playing a part in the city’s ambitious growth plans.”
Well over a billion pounds has been invested in the City’s business tourism infrastructure in the last decade, including the £30 million refurbishment and state-of-the-art extension to the rebranded ICC Belfast, landmark hotel investment that’s added 33% more room capacity, and the opening of the World’s largest Titanic visitor experience. Belfast is increasing renowned for its vibrant food, restaurant and cultural scene offering distilleries, cookery schools, peace tours, game of thrones experiences, world-class golf, castles and luxury retreats.
Last month, Northern Ireland’s Department for the Economy launched a £1 million Conference Support Scheme to help boost the sector in partnership with Visit Belfast, Belfast City Council, Tourism NI, and Visit Derry as part of the region’s tourism recovery plan, allocating £50 for each out of state delegate that visits.