The G8 legacy

The business unit was swamped with an avalanche of emails welcoming the arrival of the G8 to these shores.

Thursday, 22 November 2012
  • Politics
  • Business

And there is much to cheer about. Collectively the eight leaders from some of the richest countries in the world account for 51% of global GDP between them. That's a statistic not to be sneezed at.

Aside from the security costs of hosting the event, there's bound to be an economic bounce in the local area.

For the Lough Erne resort itself (which let's not forget is currently in administration) there will be a windfall, plus the hotel purchases a lot of goods locally which means a positive ripple effect around Enniskillen.

Though we think it would be hasty to talk about any real long term lasting economic legacy. The event only lasts 2 days. All the foreign media will only stay for a week or so.

Also, in terms of tourism potential, when was the last time you saw a G8 on the news and thought, I'd like to go there for a holiday?

Our business editor Jamie Delargy rang the Gleneagles resort in Scotland. That's where the last G8 that the UK hosted took place back in 2005. They told him that after the summit, they didn't see a subsequent rise in bookings that they could attribute to providing the backdrop for the event.

(Though to be fair Gleneagles was a big brand before the G8 rolled into the Scottish countryside. Their on-site restaurant has 2 Michelin stars.)

One positive G8 spin off could be improved internet access for the area. The business unit checked with various big name mobile phone providers. At the moment, none of them had 3G coverage in the post-code of BT93 7ED.

We contacted the Department of Enterprise. They were pretty prompt in their response.

"A whole range of areas will be looked at as part of the preparation for the G8 summit, including issues like broadband and mobile phone coverage."

The business unit thinks that the G8 is a chance to show that Northern Ireland is not a backwater, and that we're serious about building trade links.

Proper telecommunications access at the event would be nice...