Visit Belfast represents 500 tourism businesses and services across the industry including accommodation providers, attractions, conference venues and services, tour operators, transport providers, entertainment venues, restaurants and cafes, pubs and clubs and event organisers.
Confirmation of the appointment was made at Visit Belfast’s annual general meeting at the city’s Europa Hotel.
The AGM heard that Visit Belfast was on track to deliver more than £300 million (€346.2 million) to the local economy in the three years to 2024 through its sales, marketing and visitor servicing activity – an investment return of more than £30 for every £1 invested, including an on-track and increased target of £125 million (€144 million) for its current 2023-24 (April-March) year.
'Dedication And Leadership'
“I would like to thank Kathryn for the work, dedication and leadership during what has been a period of unprecedented challenge and uncertainty and warmly congratulate Marie-Thérèse on her appointment," said Gerry Lennon, Visit Belfast chief executive.
“Tourism growth and recovery continues apace and though challenges remain, I’m confident that Visit Belfast will benefit greatly from Marie-Thérèse’s vast experience, leadership and expertise to further strengthen tourism’s growing economic impact for Belfast and the city region.”
Marie-Thérèse McGivern will take over from Kathryn Thomson, chief executive of National Museums NI, who was appointed to the role in October 2020.
Thompson will continue to serve as a member of the organisation’s 15-strong Board of directors.
McGivern recently served as principal and chief executive of Belfast Metropolitan College.
Prior to that, she was director of development at Belfast City Council where she was responsible for economic development, arts, tourism, events and community services.
"Building on the outstanding work of the Board under Kathryn’s lead, this year as we begin a new chapter, is an opportune and exciting moment to take up this important, leading position," said McGivern of her appointment.
Belfast Region City Deal
McGivern is Chair of Maritime Belfast and also Chair for the Employability and Skills Advisory Board for the £10 billion (€11.5 billion) Belfast Region City Deal.
She is a non-executive director of the Strategic Investment Board for Northern Ireland and for Northern Ireland Water.