Over 40 of the world’s leading travel bloggers and influencers from 14 countries including Europe, the USA, China, India and Australia were recently hosted in Belfast as part of the 2018 Social Travel Summit.
The two-day summit which took place at The Merchant Hotel from 25 – 26 September was brought to Northern Ireland by the world’s leading travel influencer network; iambassador, as a result of collaboration between VisitBritain and Tourism NI.
Focused on the future of digital travel content, the Social Travel Summit saw up to 140 delegates from across the world exchange ideas on the latest innovations in digital travel marketing.
Social media is a powerful influencer on people’s decision to travel. For Northern Ireland, the Social Travel Summit coming to Belfast was a fantastic opportunity to promote the destination to an important group of world-class travel influencers.
Over the course of their visit delegates had the opportunity to visit some of Belfast’s most popular attractions including Titanic Belfast, enjoy walking tours of the Cathedral and Linen Quarters and venture further afield to live it up Downton-style at Larchfield Estate Co. Antrim, forage for food on the shores of Lough Neagh, travel along the picturesque Causeway Coastal Route and explore the many Game of Thrones locations currently dotted across Northern Ireland.
The highlight of the summit was a Gala Dinner hosted by Tourism NI and VisitBritain at Belfast Cathedral, at which delegates were treated to an extravaganza of Northern Ireland culture including a selection of locally sourced food and drink, music and dance. There was also the unique opportunity to dress like characters from Game of Thrones and sit on the real “Iron Throne “ from the series.
Commenting on the success of the event, Naomi Waite, Director of Marketing at Tourism NI said:
“We were delighted to play host to this year’s Social Travel Summit. Business tourism, specifically conferences and incentives, is emerging as a key priority for the future growth of tourism in Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland is an up-and-coming destination and one that is very much confidently moving on. The Social Travel Summit was a fantastic opportunity to showcase what there is to see and do in Northern Ireland to a captive audience who will hopefully be inspired to tell their own stories about what they experienced whilst here.
I would like to thank all of those from the tourism and hospitality industry who were involved in hosting our international guests. They acted as great ambassadors for Northern Ireland and what makes the region such a unique place to visit.”
Speaking about bringing the Social Travel Summit to Belfast, Keith Jenkins, iambassador Chief Executive and founder of the Social Travel Summit said:
“Tourism NI and VisitBritain did an outstanding job in showcasing Belfast and Northern Ireland to delegates attending this year’s Social Travel Summit. I have received excellent feedback from delegates saying that they had a terrific time in Belfast.
There were so many highlights of the summit but some of the most notable to me were the opening reception in the Great Room of the Merchant Hotel, walking tours of Belfast city and the unforgettable Gala Dinner at Belfast Cathedral. The Social Travel Summit in Belfast is surely one that people will be talking about for years to come.”
Referring to positive feedback received from delegates at the Social Travel Summit. Emma Mead Head of Global PR at VisitBritain said:
“Through our strong partnerships with iambassador and Tourism NI, we are thrilled to have had such a positive response from all the delegates about this year’s summit.
The Social Travel Summit was a fantastic opportunity to show to the world’s leading travel bloggers and influencers what an amazing destination Britain and Northern Ireland is to enjoy all kinds of travel experiences, from adventures along the coast to local stories in cool cities, from foraging in the countryside to luxury dining experiences.”