L OCAL property owners are set to go for gold at next year’s World Police and Fire Games in South Belfast, with competitors seeking to set up home over the 10 days of competition.
The Games, which are the world’s third largest multi-sporting event will take place in Belfast and selected venues across the North from August 1-10 next year, with a new-look Mary Peter’s Track the centre of athletes’ and spectator’s attention.
However, with local businesses looking forward to a major boost next summer as tens of thousands of visitors descend on the city, landlords could also be in for a busy period, with many South Belfast houses usually rented by students in term time, likely to host tenants from around the world.
Mary Jo McCanny, of the Belfast Visitor and Convention Bureau, is helping to co-ordinate accommodation requirements for the games. “This event is the biggest of its kind ever to be held in Belfast and as such we will be using every type of accommodation available,” she said.
“Many athletes prefer to stay in private rented accommodation and self-catering premises particularly if they are travelling with friends and families. As an alternative to serviced accommodation this can also be a more cost effective, family friendly option for families, small groups and teams.
“From a landlord’s perspective the Games provide an excellent opportunity to maximise short term income during a traditionally quiet time of year particularly if their properties are generally used by students. The benefit to landlords and indeed homeowners in general is that once they are registered with NITB for short term letting this registration lasts for four years enabling them to take advantage of Northern Ireland’s expanding tourism industry.”
Local landlords, homeowners and property managers are invited to attend special information events to be held in Belfast City Hall from 10am-12 noon and 2pm-4pm on August 15. Details will be given of requirements, booking processes and support offered.
Bob McGarry, Director of Games Delivery, for the 2013 extravaganza added: “Whilst sport is at the heart of the World Police and Fire Games we are also aiming to boost the local economy by up to £21 million.
“We have already reached over £1.35 million in accommodation revenue with one year still to go.
“As the majority of Games venues are in greater Belfast it is anticipated that this is where the demand for accommodation will be highest.”
For further information, visit www.2013wpfg.com or www.nitb.com/accommodation or contact Belfast Visitor and Convention Bureau on 028 9023 9026