Tourism companies from around the island of Ireland attended a business tourism networking event in Brussels recently. Organised by Tourism Ireland, the event was attended by decision-makers from international associations and incentive agents based in Belgium, providing a valuable opportunity for the participating partners from Ireland to showcase their product and to communicate what is unique about island of Ireland as a conference and business tourism destination. Business tourism is the most lucrative form of tourism, offering significant economic benefits and, given that the headquarters of so many associations are based in Brussels, the city is an important source of association conference events for the island of Ireland.
Danielle Neyts, Tourism Ireland Belgium, said: “Given that the headquarters of over 2,000 associations are located in Brussels, it makes sense for us to proactively target this sector. These associations regularly hold conferences for thousands of delegates in different venues around the world, delivering significant economic benefits to the host country. We were delighted so many of these key business tourism decision-makers took the time to meet our partners, demonstrating their keen interest in Ireland as a business tourism destination for 2012 and beyond.”
Tourism Ireland’s busy programme of activity to grow business tourism from Belgium and elsewhere across Europe this year includes a number of events, promotions and familiarisation visits, which are highlighting ease of access, the great facilities and good value rates available for meetings and conferences here and getting the island of Ireland known for excellence in business support.
Ronan Flood, Advantage ICO; Sheila Geary, Belfast Visitor & Convention Bureau; Elaine O’Callaghan, Conference Partners; Simon Gregory, Tourism Ireland; HE Éamonn MacAodha, Irish Ambassador to Belgium; Azeta Seery, Fáilte Ireland; Danielle Neyts, Tourism Ireland; Aoife Thomas, Derry Visitor & Convention Bureau; Orla Kraft, Tourism Ireland; and Sam Johnston, Dublin Convention Bureau, at a business tourism networking event in Brussels.
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.