Decision-makers from some of the top American business tourism companies and journalists from leading American business publications visited Ireland recently, as guests of Tourism Ireland and Irish destination management company, Wallace Travel Group.
The group – which included three specialist journalists writing for the business tourism sector, as well as senior representatives of companies involved in the MICE (meetings, incentive, conferences and events) industry, who organise international conferences, meetings and large-scale incentive events around the world – was here to discover more about the meeting facilities and accommodation on offer in this part of Ireland, as well as the great experiences business delegates can enjoy here on the sidelines of their conference or meeting. The visit was also a fantastic opportunity for Tourism Ireland to highlight ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ to this influential group.
Their itinerary, designed by Fáilte Ireland, included site inspections of various luxury hotels – including the K Club in Straffan; the Westin, the Merrion, Four Seasons and Luttrellstown Castle in Dublin; Ashford Castle in Co Mayo; Dromoland Castle and the Lodge at Doonbeg in Co Clare; as well as Adare Manor in Co Limerick. They also visited The Convention Centre Dublin, the Guinness Storehouse and the Cliffs of Moher.
Joe Byrne, Tourism Ireland’s Executive Vice President United States and Canada, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted that this group of journalists and business tourism decision-makers have taken the time to come to Ireland, to experience the superb facilities on offer in this part of Ireland at first-hand. Fact-finding visits such as this are an important part of our promotional programme to build awareness of the destination and our world-class business tourism product among key decision-makers and influencers.
“The visit of these journalists and influential business tourism buyers was also a wonderful opportunity to highlight ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ and the fantastic programme of events planned for next year. Tourism Ireland has an extensive programme of promotions under way 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.
Representatives of leading American business tourism companies, as well as specialist business tourism journalists, at Ashford Castle, Co Mayo, with Marie McKown, Tourism Ireland (second right); Derek Wallace, Wallace Travel Group (fourth left); and Niall Rochford (left) and Paula Carroll (right), both Ashford Castle.
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, working closely with the ‘Gathering’ project team.