Giro d'Italia Packs Belfast Hotel Rooms
Published on May 2 2014 1:17 PM in General Industry
Belfast's hotels will experience 85% occupancy from 8 May through 11 May, owing to arrival of the Giro d'Italia, the world's second biggest bike race after the Tour de France.
The event means the city will receive a large financial boon: the Northern Ireland Tourist Board has estimated that the business generated by the Giro will make £2.5 million for the economy, along with some £10 million worth of international media coverage. All Belfast's major hotels are either sold out or almost sold out.
It is anticipated that la Grande Partenza (the Big Start) will attract 140,000 visitors. Janice Gault, the chief executive of the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation, said "It is a good event for Northern Ireland. It is a good showcase event, the real advantage is that you get to showcase the province."
Referring to the iconic Maglia Rossa (Pink Jersey), which is worn by the race-leader, Stormont's Minister for Tourism Arlene Foster said "Pink-mania is spreading across Northern Ireland with talk of shops, restaurants, landmark buildings and even livestock going pink to welcome the Giro spectacle, and I have seen pink sheep on the north Antrim coast." Prominent buildings will be bathed in pink light, while some of the city's trees are already garlanded with pink ribbons.