Several tourism companies from around the island of Ireland travelled to the US last week to attend a networking ‘Meet in Ireland’ event in the prestigious Irish Embassy in Washington DC. The event, organised by Tourism Ireland, provided a valuable opportunity for the participating companies to network with influential American conference and meeting planners, to showcase their product and to communicate what is unique about the island of Ireland as a conference and business tourism destination. The event was particularly timely given that United Airlines recently launched a new daily service between Washington DC and Dublin – providing a welcome boost for both business and leisure travellers to Ireland from the DC area.
Joe Byrne, Tourism Ireland’s executive vice president United States and Canada, said: “We were delighted that so many of the key decision-makers from this sector based around Washington DC took the time to come and meet our partners, demonstrating their keen interest in the island of Ireland as a business tourism destination for 2012 and beyond. Business tourism is an extremely important, high yield sector and Tourism Ireland is working hard to promote the island of Ireland as a premier business tourism destination. We very much welcome the new United Airlines service from Washington DC to Dublin; we will be working closely with United to maximise promotion of this route, to drive growth in both business and leisure travel to the island of Ireland.”
Tourism Ireland’s busy programme of activity to grow business tourism from North America this year includes a number of events, promotions and familiarisation visits which are highlighting ease of access, including the new United Airlines service from Washington DC to Dublin; 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.
Evelyn O’Sullivan, Cork Convention Bureau (right), with Susan Bennett and Siobhán Connellan, both Experient (meetings and event management company in Washington DC), at the ‘Meet in Ireland’ event in Washington DC.
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.