Northern Ireland to be key focus of International Hospitality Summit

Ulster University is co-hosting the first Regenerative Hospitality Summit, which will take place from 5th to 8th May in Transylvania, Romania, putting the spotlight on how regenerative practices within the industry can continue to enhance Northern Ireland’s reputation as a leading food and drink destination.

An international gathering of leading chefs, food and drink producers, tourism managers and academics, the Summit will focus on how ‘regenerative impact’ can support cross sector collaboration, boost resilience and enhance business performance.

Expert contributors from different locations around the world, including Chef Skye Gyngell, of Heckfield Place in Hampshire, will lead conversations about the need for hospitality to promote behavioural change, with respect to the climate crisis and cross-cultural understanding. 

Hospitality and culinary arts management students from Ulster University will take a central role in proceedings by cooking alongside tv chef and author Romy Gill MBE and Oxford Cultural Collective Patron, chef Paul Bloomfield for the delegation throughout the three days.

Organisers are urging hospitality and tourism professionals from across Northern Ireland to attend, to share their unique experiences and perspectives and build alliances with delegates from elsewhere in the world to further enhance Northern Ireland’s leading food and drink destination credentials.

For Michele Shirlow, Chief Executive of Food NI, who will attend and speak at the event, this indicates why the Summit is so important: “Our talented chefs and food and drink producers are increasingly shaping the image of Northern Ireland nationally and internationally. Whilst we know this is still a very tough time for hospitality operators, it remains vital that we think collectively about our future. The Summit will give us the opportunity to learn from other locations around the world that have been through similar processes of change, which is invaluable.

The premise of the event is that the hospitality and tourism sector’s established focus on sustainability, whilst laudable, is insufficient to tackle the immense climate, social and cultural challenges that are facing us all.

The hospitality community is uniquely well-placed to lead systemic change to ensure the natural environment, people and places can thrive. Its position at the heart of our food system, influence over consumer behaviour, public reach through media engagement and role in defining the character of urban and rural locations, give it immense influence.

The Regenerative Hospitality Summit will include a dedicated session focused on food, drink and hospitality in Northern Ireland – its prospects for the future and how it might give the region competitive advantage on the basis of its contribution to communities and the natural environment.

Dr Lynsey Hollywood of Ulster University comments: “The Summit will focus on how hospitality organisations, including in Northern Ireland, can harmonise their business objectives with the communities, places and natural ecosystems of which they are a part, to help them thrive. Far from being a distraction from core business activity, evidence suggests this ethical approach can underpin long-term success.”

For more information, and to book you place, go to