City Connections, Belfast
City Connections is a partnership between two community-based tourism development organisations, Fáilte Feirste Thiar in west Belfast and East Side Tourism in east Belfast. This initiative, supported by Belfast City Council, aims to maximise the impact of tourism at a local level across the city. To date, these two non-profit organisations have delivered a bespoke series of local capacity building workshops and events around digital marketing, understanding market trends and visitor itinerary development.
City Connections also delivered the first World Host accredited training for local tourism and hospitality businesses incorporating Belfast’s new East/West Rapid Transit System, Glider. The strength of the project has been recognised as best practice by tourism leaders from Bern, Barcelona and Ljubljana. Belfast City Council recognises its importance and impact not only in enhancing a city-wide offering for visitors but also in raising local awareness and opening up opportunities for residents of east and west Belfast to visit unexplored parts of their own city.
This very impressive project clearly demonstrated what can be achieved when people get together with a common goal in developing a project based on the unique people and history of their respective areas and creating sustainable employment and high quality products. The project brings people beyond the main city centre streets into two special urban streets bursting with energy, stories, eclectic cafes, restaurants and shops and some fantastic attractions, highlighting its people and heritage all brought together with unique taxi and bus services. The excellent presentations clearly demonstrated that this is an initiative that will continue to grow.