Thirty tourism organisations from around the island of Ireland travelled to Las Vegas recently, for this year’s IMEX America.
Only in its second year, IMEX (International Meetings and Events Exhibition) America is already an important event to reach key decision-makers in the lucrative business tourism industry in the US. Over 2,000 buyers from North America and elsewhere around the world attended the three-day show, which provided valuable networking opportunities for the participating Irish tourism operators. It was also a fantastic opportunity for Tourism Ireland to highlight ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ to top-level representatives of the business tourism sector.
Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Vice-President of Marketing in the United States, said that there was very good interest in the island of Ireland as a conference and incentive destination. “IMEX America is an important platform for Tourism Ireland and our partners to showcase the world-class conference, meetings and incentive facilities on offer right around the island of Ireland. Overall, business sentiment at the show was very positive, with interest in Ireland for conferences and incentive travel remaining high and advance business for 2013 and 2014 looking good.
“Tourism Ireland’s presence at IMEX America also presented a wonderful opportunity to highlight ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ and the fantastic programme of events planned for next year. This autumn, Tourism Ireland is undertaking an extensive programme of promotions in the US, and elsewhere around the world, to highlight ‘The Gathering’. As well as directly targeting the Diaspora and those with a connection to Ireland, we are also working closely with decision-makers involved in the MICE (meetings, incentive, conferences and events) industry, to enthuse them about the destination and encourage them to include the island of Ireland in their 2013 programmes.”
Business tourism is the most lucrative form of tourism, with visitors travelling here for business purposes spending about 2.5 times more than the average visitor.
Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland; Adrienne Clarke, RDS Conference Village, Dublin; Kevin Shannon, Odyssey International Meetings & Incentives (destination management company); and Simon Gregory, Tourism Ireland, at IMEX America in Las Vegas.
Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 087-685 9027
Notes to Editors:
• Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
• Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 200,000 people.
• In 2011, approximately 7.3 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland (+4% on 2010), delivering revenue of approximately €3.4 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.discoverireland.com; there are 42 different websites, providing information in 14 different languages covering every continent. In 2011, discoverireland.com attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.
• ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ will be Ireland’s biggest ever tourism initiative and will consist of a year-long programme of festivals, events and gatherings in every part of the country.
• Tourism Ireland has an extensive programme of promotions under way to highlight ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ around the world this autumn, working closely with the ‘Gathering’ project team.