Fermanagh is preparing to host the G8 summit next month. The meeting of the heads of state of eight of the most powerful nations in the world will be held at the Lough Erne resort outside Enniskillen. Already arrangements are being made for a big influx of media personnel from all over the world. The Killyhevlin hotel in Enniskillen will serve as a media centre and indications are that it is booked up.
The BBC reports that the summit is expected to boost business in Northern Ireland by £40 million. Barclays Bank found almost 85% of businesses believe holding the summit in County Fermanagh will be good for the region. It said there was also longer-term potential to boost tourism, exports and foreign investment. A total of 213 telephone interviews were conducted with businesses in NI. The research was carried out by the Northern Ireland Centre for Economic Policy within the University of Ulster on behalf of Barclays. Across all sectors and geographically across Northern Ireland, two thirds of businesses expect the G8 Summit to have a positive or very positive effect on the economy. Businesses in the hospitality and tourism sector were the most positive about the summit (73%), though support was strong across all sectors with 69% of professional services supportive and 58% of manufacturers.
It is anticipated that demand for a total of 35,000 to 45,000 nights of accommodation could be generated in Northern Ireland as a result of the trips from the delegates, their entourages, security, international media and associated officials. The report from Barclays indicated that this could “feasibly generate” £5.5m to £7.5m for the tourist industry, predominantly in Fermanagh.