Tourism organisations from around the island of Ireland met with influential Belgian conference and meeting planners at a networking ‘Meet in Ireland’ event in Brussels, organised by Tourism Ireland.
The event provided a valuable opportunity for the participating companies – including hotels, PCOs (professional conference organisers), convention bureaux and venues – to showcase their product and to communicate what is unique about the island of Ireland as a conference and business tourism destination. It was also an excellent opportunity for Tourism Ireland to highlight The Gathering Ireland and Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture 2013 to the influential guests in attendance.
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 Belgian business tourism decision-makers took the time to meet our partners, to hear about our superb meetings and conference facilities and what makes the island of Ireland unique as a business destination.”
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.
Orla Kraft, Tourism Ireland; Susan Nolan, Odyssey International; Lindsey Williamson, Belfast Visitor & Convention Bureau; Sarah O’Sullivan, Trinity College Dublin; Sinéad Heneghan, Croke Park Hotel and Conference Centre; Séamus Heaney, Cork Convention Bureau; François Tessier, Abbey Incentive and Events; Azeta Seery, Fáilte Ireland; Christoph Haustein, TIFCO Hotels; Danielle Neyts and Karen Cronin, both Tourism Ireland, at a networking ‘Meet in Ireland’ 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 2012, an estimated 7.27 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of approximately €3.51 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, currently rolling out in 11 different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world.
• ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ is Ireland’s biggest ever tourism initiative, consisting 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.