Brian O'Connor
Brian is Mintel Ireland’s Senior Consumer Analyst/Research Production Manager and has a broad focus across Leisure/Tourism, FMCG, Retail, Finance and Industrial sectors.

On 16th August 2012, Belfast City Council announced that by hosting the MTV Europe Music Awards in October 2011, an extra £22 million in spending was generated for the city Belfast City Council. The NITB (Northern Ireland Tourist Board) spent approximately £840,000 to stage the event during the Belfast Music Week, with the council noting that £35 was generated for the city for every £1 of public money spent.

The Irish Accommodation Industry is the Big Winner

With MTV booking more than 8,000 room nights for its stage crews, artists and guests across 40 NI hotels, an unknown level of visitors to the city are also said to have used accommodation quite heavily. The Mintel report Accommodation – Ireland, July 2012 notes that spending on accommodation by visitors to Ireland (domestic and overseas) accounted for 28% of total visitor spending in 2011.

The Mintel report Accommodation – Ireland, July 2012 notes that among Irish consumers, hotels (bed and breakfast only) are the most commonly used type of accommodation in 2012. Some 45% of NI and 54% of RoI consumers have stayed in hotels in Ireland in the last 12 months. This indicates that when a city, town or region hosts an event like the MTV awards, hotels are likely to be the most sought-after type of accommodation.

These types of events are also a welcome boost for the accommodation industry, which is shown in Mintel’s Accommodation – Ireland, July 2012 report to have experienced revenue levels falling from €2 billion in 2007, to an estimated €1.5 billion in 2012 (all-Ireland). The same report notes that 20% of NI and 29% of RoI consumers have cut down their spending on accommodation due to financial constraints (i.e. the downturn), helping to contribute to this decline in value.

The success of the MTV Europe Music Awards for Belfast points to the importance of attracting big-name events to Ireland, as it can not only help to boost tourism spending, but can also help to raise the profile of Ireland to the wider world. Belfast City Council notes that some 1.2 billion people across the world watched the 2011 awards, helping to create strong exposure for the region.

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