The World Credit Union Conference brought over 2,000 delegates from 55 countries to Belfast, boosting the city’s economy by £3.7m.
The four-day event, which took place on 17-20 July, is organised every year by the World Council of Credit Unions (Woccu). The 2016 edition was hosted by the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU). Organisers worked with more than 60 local suppliers and 20 hoteliers.
Brian McCrory, president of the ILCU, said he had been lobbying for seven years to bring the annual conference to Belfast, which was made possible following the extension of Belfast Waterfront. “The opening of a 7,000 sq m conference facility made Belfast a serious contender as a host destination. And the new conference facilities are fantastic, we have received excellent feedback from our members about both the venue and city,” he said.
The £29.5m extension of the venue was funded by Belfast City Council, Tourism Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund, through the European Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland.
Brian Branch, president and chief executive of Woccu, said: “Everyone knew we were here. From taxi drivers and restaurateurs to local shop owners, they knew about the conference coming to the city – we were moved by the friendliness of the Belfast people. This city is a great business destination and we have thoroughly enjoyed our time here.”
Ellvena Graham, chair of the Belfast Waterfront and Ulster Hall Ltd Board, also said: “The new Belfast Waterfront was built to help the city attract conferences of this magnitude and in doing so reaffirm Belfast’s position as a leading business tourism destination on the world stage.”
Woccu also organised tours for delegates who wished to see some local credit unions, such as Ballynahinch Credit Union, S.A.G Credit Union, Willowfield Credit Union, Belfast Teachers Credit Union, Ballyhackamore Credit Union and Portaferry Credit Union. The conference ended on 20 July with a closing reception at the Titanic Exhibition Centre.
The 2017 World Credit Union Conference will take place in Vienna from 23–26 July.
In this article
- Ballyhackamore Credit Union
- Ballynahinch Credit Union
- Belfast City Council
- Brian Branch
- Brian McCrory
- Credit union
- Ellvena Graham
- European Regional Development Fund
- Irish League
- Irish League of Credit Unions
- Northern Ireland
- Portaferry Credit Union
- S.A.G Credit Union
- Titanic Exhibition Centre
- Tourism Northern Ireland
- Ulster Hall Ltd
- Waterfront Hall
- World Council of Credit Unions
- United Kingdom
- Top Stories