Tourism & Hospitality Award win for the MAC

The tenth annual UTV Business Eye Awards were held at Belfast's Waterfront Hall on Thurs 24 Nov, and the MAC were delighted to be announced as the winners of the Tourism and Hospitality sector.

The award was won on the strength of the recent David Hockney Exhibition titled I draw, I do. The recent exhibition at the MAC proved to be a hugely popular attraction with some 25,000 people visiting the exhibition over an eight-week period. Independent market research showed that 25% of those who came along were from out of state with 18% of these spending at least one night or more in Belfast.

Commenting on the success, Anne McReynolds, Chief Executive at the MAC said “The Hockney exhibition proves that the arts are an economic driver for NI and that public investment in the arts provides an enormous return to the wider economy. 6,250 visitors from outside Northern Ireland came to Belfast to see the Hockney exhibition and spent £149 per head in our city by staying overnight, shopping and eating out. This shows that as one of NI’s landmark visitor attractions the MAC has a central role to play in strengthening NI’s tourism offer.”

Commending the team at the MAC, John McGrillen Chief Executive Tourism NI said “International visitors are increasingly searching out arts and culture experiences alongside the iconic heritage and stunning scenery that Northern Ireland is well known for. Securing prestigious exhibitions such as David Hockney is crucial in terms of attracting visitors, as they bring high levels of international exposure and acclaim for Northern Ireland and help to keep the momentum in tourism going in the right direction.”