Gavaghan to chair Visit Belfast Board

Visit Belfast BoardVisit Belfast, the tourism agency responsible for promoting the city locally, nationally and internationally, confirmed today (20.03.14) that David Gavaghan, Chief Executive Officer of Titanic Quarter Limited, has been appointed as chair of its new board of directors.

Gavaghan’s appointment is one of 11 key new appointments from across the business, hospitality, retail and travel sectors, which Visit Belfast said is part of its strategic drive to further grow Belfast’s tourism economy. 

In addition, Visit Belfast also published the names of eight new board members from Belfast City Council who complete the new board.

Representing more than 500 tourism businesses, Visit Belfast’s main aim is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism by boosting growth in visitor numbers, increasing visitor spend.

Tourism is currently worth more than £400 million to Belfast economy, supporting more than 10,000 jobs. Almost eight million tourists visit the city annually.

Announcing details of the new board, Gerry Lennon, Chief Executive of Visit Belfast, said: Visit Belfast’s achievements in growing the City’s tourism industry has been down to the successful public-private sector partnership it embodies.  I’m delighted that the appointments we have announced today reflect that strong partnership approach which we are keen to continue.

Through the sheer hard work of our members, staff, funders and strategic partners, Belfast has delivered a decade of phenomenal tourism growth, with rising visitor numbers, conference and event bookings, and record cruise ship arrivals.

As we look forward to support Government in meeting its target of making tourism a £1 billion industry by 2020, I’m delighted to announce the names of our new board of which I am confident will help fuel a new drive of accelerated tourism growth for Belfast – the gateway to Northern Ireland.

The depth and breadth of experience represented on the board will help Visit Belfast immediately address the full range of issues, opportunities and challenges that face the Belfast tourism industry.”

 Visit Belfast’s new board Chair, David Gavaghan, said: In less than a decade, Belfast has firmly established itself as a world class destination for city breaks, cruise and conference tourism and I look forward to building on this success as we look forward to increasing growth in all areas and to ensuring that the economic benefits of tourism are realised right across the city.

Belfast already performs exceptionally well in the global competition for tourism business and I’m delighted to be part of a committed team which is focussed on achieving further targeted growth in the immediate years ahead.” 

Visit Belfast Board Members include: 

  • David Gavaghan, Titanic Quarter Limited
  • Andrea Hayes, Flybe
  • Harry Connolly, Fáilte Feirste Thiar
  • Isabel Jennings, Queen’s University Belfast
  • Ivan McMinn, Danske Bank
  • John Moore, MBE, S.S. Moore Limited
  • Mark Walker, Hilton Northern Ireland
  • Michael Williamson, ASM Chartered Accountants
  • Paul Grant, Stena Line
  • Robert Davies, Wine Inns Limited
  • Tim Husbands, MBE, Titanic Belfast
  • Paul McMahon, Belfast Chamber of Trade and Commerce
  • Norman Maynes, Translink 
  • Cllr Bernie Kelly, Belfast City Council
  • Cllr Ciaran Beattie, Belfast City Council
  • Cllr Deirdre Hargey, Belfast City Council
  • Cllr Guy Spence, Belfast City Council
  • Cllr JJ Magee, Belfast City Council
  • Cllr Lee Reynolds, Belfast City Council
  • Cllr Máire Hendron, Belfast City Council
  • Cllr Tom Haire, Belfast City Council 

Visit Belfast is a public-private sector partnership, funded by Belfast City Council, Northern Ireland Tourist Board, and four local authorities Antrim, Newtownabbey, North Down and Lisburn. It has over 500 members from the tourism, hospitality and retail industry and is the tourism marketing agency responsible for promoting Belfast locally, nationally and internationally as a leading conference, city break, day-trip and cruise destination.  

It also manages three tourist information centres, including the new state-of-the-art Belfast Welcome Centre at Donegall Square North, in addition to those located at Belfast International Airport and George Best Belfast City Airport. 

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