Visit Belfast, the city region’s destination marketing and management organisation, has announced a new strategic partnership agreement with Belfast’s last remaining Victorian shopping arcade, Queen’s Arcade.
Recently restored to its former glory as part of a multi-million-pound restoration programme, Queen’s Arcade in Belfast has become synonymous with international luxury brands including Rolex, Breitling, Mont Blanc and Gucci and has become a major draw for local, national and international visitors.
Queen’s Arcade is an iconic and enduring part of Belfast’s history. It displays an Ulster History Circle Blue Plaque, as its site was the home of the ‘Father of Belfast Medicine’, Dr. James McDonnell (1763-1845). The Arcade was designed by architect, James McKinnon, and built in 1880.
It was described at the time as a fashionable promenade and highly attractive business thoroughfare. It was owned for a time by former Belfast Lord Mayor and Industrialist, Otto Jaffe. In the 1920s, it was refurbished by a London based firm, who worked on the original fitout of Harrods and Selfridges.
The Arcade is owned by Lunn’s the Jewellers, where their flagship store resides. A multimillion-pound conservation and restoration programme began in 2019. Today, Queen’s Arcade offers the most luxurious retail experience in Belfast. A collection of independently owned businesses including Robinson’s Shoes, Victoria Gault Florists and Jonathan Keys Opticians sit alongside Rolex, OMEGA, Breitling, Montblanc and GUCCI Watches and Jewellery Boutiques. It is now renowned for its unique charm and elegant seasonal displays.
After a bumper year of recovery for tourism in Belfast, with a total of 141 cruise calls, 95 conference and business events and strong hotel room occupancy of 74.9%, the partnership will utilise Visit Belfast’s destination marketing approach and the synergies with Queen’s Arcade’s unique products, luxury experiences and premium services to maximise visitor numbers in the city.
Gerry Lennon, Chief Executive, Visit Belfast, said:
“Strong partnerships and collaboration are the key pillars in the city’s tourism recovery strategy and I’m delighted that Queen’s Arcade are on board as a strategic partner.
“The visitor experience is critical to sustainable tourism and continuing the recovery momentum. Belfast’s retail spaces play an important role in delivering not only a warm welcome, but also ensuring Belfast is at the forefront of retail offering, bringing the latest luxury brands to the city. We are confident our shared synergies and goals will pave the way for a successful and meaningful partnership.”
Suzanne Lunn, Marketing Director, Queen’s Arcade added:
“We are thrilled that Queen’s Arcade is now a Strategic Partner of Visit Belfast. This partnership establishes Queen’s Arcade as a tourist destination in Belfast. It is a joy to see visitors enjoying our city and an even greater joy to welcome them to Queen’s Arcade.
“Whether people enjoy the beauty and atmosphere of the building by simply walking through or by visiting one of the stores, they will find some of the finest brands in the world, presented with the charm and warmth Belfast is famous for.”