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Games boost for Belfast hotels

The World Police And Fire Games which will be held in Northern Ireland next year are already providing a welcome boost to the hotel sector in Belfast and beyond. It has been reported that almost a year and a half before the games are due to take place in August 2013 nearly £1 million of accommodation has already been booked in Belfast and other areas. The games will be the biggest event of this kind ever to be held in Belfast and it is expected that they will attract around 25,000 visitors from as many as 70 countries. Around 22,000 beds have already been booked in the hotels of Belfast as well as B&Bs and university halls of residence.

Belfast Visitor and Convention Bureau has already booked rooms for guests and participants traveling from Sweden, Belgium, Germany and other parts of the UK and has dealt with inquiries from as far away as Canada, Australia, South Africa, Brazil and Russia. Mary Jo McCanny from Belfast Visitor and Convention Bureau said: “The scale of it is both hugely exciting but also challenging in terms of meeting all the accommodation requirements over the extended 10-day period. The teams have all been incredibly impressed by the quality and variety of accommodation that we are offering here...Click to read more about Uncategorized

Hastings Hotels help mark Titanic centenary in Belfast

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of that most famous of ships built in Belfast, the RMS Titanic. The ship was constructed at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast and sank during her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York on 15 April 1912. The sinking of the Titanic has attracted enormous world-wide attention over the years and Belfast is sure to be the focus of a lot of attention in this centenary year.

In preparation for the centenary celebrations a new Titanic Quarter is being built in Belfast. The development is the largest urban regeneration scheme in Europe and is sure to breathe new life into Belfast city. The centre-piece of the development is the iconic Titanic Belfast Building, which is due to open on 31st March and will be the focus of much of the activity surrounding this year’s celebrations. The Titanic Belfast Building is the biggest memorial dedicated to the Titanic to date and has had an investment of some £90 million and taken three years to construct.

There will be a series of Titanic commemoration events running in Belfast from March right through to August and in order to facilitate visitors to the city who want to take part in these...Click to read more about Uncategorized

Merchant Hotel in Belfast receives prestigious industry award

The Merchant Hotel in Belfast has been named the best hotel in the UK at a prestigious industry awards ceremony held this week at one of the most famous hotels in London, the Savoy. The five-star Belfast hotel received the accolade at the first edition of the International Hotel Awards run in association with Bloomberg Television.

The Merchant Hotel, which this week was also named in Fodor’s guide ’21 places to go in 2012′, went on to another level in the International Hotel Awards in which the regional category winners from all over the world went head-to-head to find the ultimate Best International Hotel, with this award ultimately going to the Palm Hotel in Dubai.

The Merchant Hotel was opened in 2006 in Waring Street after Bill Wolsey, a County Down businessman, reportedly spent around £10 million to transform the former Victorian Ulster Bank building in Belfast into one of the most lauded and well-known hotels in all of Northern Ireland. Since opening the hotel has received many awards for its accommodation, food and drink as well as for its design.

The general manager of The Merchant, Adrian McLaughlin, said the award is a reflection of the excellent work of the entire team at the...Click to read more about Uncategorized

Positive signs for Belfast hotels

The latest review of the hotel industry in Northern Ireland which was produced by ASM Chartered Accountants shows that hotels in Belfast have been experiencing a lift in business and may now be facing somewhat more favourable trading conditions than in the worst days of the recent economic crisis. It is true that hotel occupancy rates have gone down as has profitability, however, the average price of a room has risen and it is expected that events like the Titanic centenary will provide an even greater boost in the near future. For example, the International Seed Federation World Seed Congress which was held in Belfast recently saw every hotel room in the city booked out for the first time in over two years.

The ASM report indicated that hotel bedroom occupancy averaged 63.4 percent in 2010 which was a small decline on 2009 when average occupancy was recorded at 64.1 percent. The average rate achieved per room was £64.83 representing a slight increase on the £63.42 recorded the year before. Total sales per bedroom averaged £37,894 for 2010, which is also slightly ahead of the 2009 figure.

Michael Williamson, director of hotel, tourism and leisure consulting at ASM, said that the affects of the downturn may...Click to read more about Uncategorized

Business as usual at the Four Corners Hotel in Belfast

Premier Inn’s Four Corners hotel in Belfast is open as usual in spite of the fact that the landlord of the building that the hotel is located in has been placed into administration. The Belfast Telegraph reports that the company that redeveloped the building on the corner of Donegall Street and Waring Street, Corner Blok, and which is the current owner, has been placed into administration by Bank of Scotland Ireland (BOSI).

The Four Corners Hotel part of the Premier Inn chain leased the building from Corner Blok and the hotel group has stated that the difficulties of its current landlord will have no effect on the running of the hotel. Keith Freeman, the regional operations manager for Ireland, said: “The Premier Inn at Waring Street, one of our six highly successful hotels in Northern Ireland, continues to trade very well and business at the hotel will in no way be affected by the administration.”

The Four Corners Hotel opened in 2008, generating some 75 jobs. The hotel has 171 rooms and also contains a popular 200-seater restaurant and bar. It is located in the bustling Cathedral quarter in Belfast and is within easy walking distance of  all the major tourist attractions in the city and is close to...Click to read more about Uncategorized