With football fever at a high across Europe and all eyes on Northern Ireland at their first major tournament in 30 years, thousands of fans and tourists in Paris will have the chance to discover the very best of Belfast and Northern Ireland during Euro 2016.
Visit Belfast, with funding support from the Northern Ireland Executive, will promote Belfast and Northern Ireland as part of ‘Place de l’Europe’, from 18 June to 10 July.
The event offers each of the 24 nations competing in the Euro 2016 tournament, including other UK countries England and Wales, the chance to engage with hundreds of thousands of visitors and fans in the grounds of the City Hall in the French capital.
“Qualification by the Northern Ireland team to the Euros not only represents an amazing opportunity for our football stars but it also offers us the opportunity to showcase Northern Ireland as a visitor destination to other football fans and Parisians,” said Economy Minister Simon Hamilton.
“As a key service sector, the tourism and hospitality industry offers one of the best opportunities for us to grow our international reputation and strengthen the local economy.
“The Belfast and Northern Ireland pod in Paris allows visitors to immerse themselves in 360 virtual reality technology, giving them the opportunity to experience some of the potential sights and scenes a visit here would bring.
“Through the specially designed ‘Explore Belfast and Northern Ireland’ app – available in French, English, Spanish, Italian and German – and virtual reality viewers inspired by Google Cardboard, visitors can experience the best of Belfast and Northern Ireland, enjoying a virtual tour around the city and beyond,” he said.
As well as the virtual reality app, which features additional CGI content that brings the stories and unique aspects of the region to life, the interior of the pod also features videos showcasing the iconic landscapes of Northern Ireland and the exciting energy of Belfast city.
“The use of new and innovative technology has enabled Visit Belfast to bring an inspiring virtual reality experience of Belfast and Northern Ireland to France,” said Visit Belfast chief executive Gerry Lennon.
“Visitors to our pod will be able to experience a taste of our capital city and some of our most famous attractions – without leaving Paris.
“Place de l’Europe provides us with an unprecedented and exciting opportunity to be part of Euro 2016 and engage directly with European visitors and football fans, providing an immersive experience that we hope will encourage them to visit Belfast and Northern Ireland.”