'We have a tradition of punching above our weight,' says Visit Belfast CEO on Belfast Eurovision bid

  • WATCH: Gerry Lennon speaks to UTV's Marc Mallet:

The CEO of Visit Belfast says he has "no doubt" that Belfast could cope with the huge logistical challenge of hosting Eurovision 2023.

"We have a tradition of punching above our weight," Gerry Lennon told UTV.

"We've had a huge success of hosting such events such as Giro d'Italia, MTV, World Police and Fire Games and Tall Ships.

He was speaking ahead of an announcement on Friday of which UK cities have made the shortlist of those vying to be in the running to host Eurovision 2023 after the broadcaster EBU announced that the competition will not take place in war torn Ukraine.

On Tuesday Belfast City Council voted in support of progressing its bid should Belfast make that shortlist.

"Kudos to Belfast City Council for metaphorically throwing Belfast's hat into the ring," Gerry said.

"The importance of Eurovision and those type of events for us as a city is very simply three things.

"One, there's a huge boost to our economy.

"Two, the global audience that Eurovision would bring to Belfast and to be able to promote Belfast as the modern, European diverse and inclusive city that we now are.

"The third thing is many underestimate is the huge civic pride it would generate - everyone coming together.

"These events are very important for us as we rebuild tourism," Gerry added.

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