A series of interviews with the key players of Belfast’s meetings industry

Deborah Collins

Head of Business Tourism at Visit Belfast

Originally a country girl from the Ards Peninsula, Deborah moved to Belfast in 2011. On moving back to NI in 2007, she worked in software sales and business development. She spent seven years in tourism and wouldn’t work anywhere else, it is a joy for her to promote a city that has so much to offer. She says the best part of her job is changing perceptions and seeing the smiles on clients’ faces when they wow them with their offerings.

Q: In your opinion, what makes Belfast special?

Belfast people are without doubt the warmest and most welcoming folk you could ever hope to meet. Above all the feedback we receive about our award winning venues, fantastic bars, restaurants and stunning landscapes, is that the people are what make Belfast. We are open, honest, fun and always go the extra mile for visitors and delegates alike.

Q: Where would you take someone to “feel” the vibe of Belfast and what is your best incentive idea in Belfast?

The Belfast vibe is perfectly summed up by taking a visitor to Cathedral quarter. This buzzing part of the city features cobbled streets and is adorned with street art as well as a plethora of fantastic bars with live music, coffee shops and restaurants. A top incentive idea for me would have to be Game of Thrones® related as the blockbuster hit TV series was mostly filmed in Northern Ireland. From taking a tour of our fabulous locations, and meeting the actual Dire Wolves, to dressing in medieval costumes and trying your hand at archery or axe throwing, there is a wealth of product to be experienced. From April to September 2019 Belfast is hosting the official HBO Game of Thrones® touring exhibition which features exclusive costumes and props from the 8 series. Winter is coming!


Q: What do you see as crucial marketing elements to lure meeting planners?

Team Belfast and Northern Ireland are very active in market so we attend many of the tradeshows and events to promote ourselves to national and International meetings planners and we offer a range of free services to help make it easy for them to choose Belfast. Our range of services include financial support (subject to criteria) accommodation booking service, a dedicated client services manager, marketing support, recommendations of partner DMC and PCO’s as well as delegates offers, tourist information, city branding, city guides and canvas bags. We are on hand to be your impartial advisers on the ground!