Decision-makers from some of Canada’s top business tourism companies enjoyed a fact-finding visit to Ireland last week, as guests of Tourism Ireland and Air Canada, in conjunction with Kerry Convention Bureau and leading Irish destination management company, Ovation Ireland.
The group – which included 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 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 raise awareness of The Gathering Ireland 2013 to this influential group; and to highlight the new interline agreement between Air Canada and Aer Lingus (which makes it easier for Canadian visitors to fly into Dublin, Shannon, Cork and Belfast via London Heathrow).
During their time here, the group spent time in Dublin, with visits to the Old Jameson Distillery and the Guinness Storehouse; and in Wicklow, with a site inspection of the Ritz-Carlton at Powerscourt. They continued to Co Kerry, where they enjoyed a trip through the Gap of Dunloe and a visit to Muckross Traditional Farms; and undertook site inspections of various hotels in Killarney, including the Aghadoe Heights, Hotel Europe and the Killarney Park. They also visited Adare Manor and Dromoland Castle before flying back to Canada.
Jayne Shackleford, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Canada, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted that these leading business tourism executives took the time to visit Ireland, to experience for themselves some of the superb facilities on offer here. 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 influencers in Canada.
“The visit of this group was also a wonderful opportunity to highlight The Gathering Ireland 2013 and the fantastic programme of events taking place here throughout the year. Tourism Ireland has an extensive programme of promotions under way in Canada, 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 Canadian business tourism companies at the Aghadoe Heights Hotel, Killarney, with Helen Cole, Tourism Ireland (fourth right); Emma Reardon (third left) and Trish Covarr (sixth left), both Aghadoe Heights Hotel; Maeve O’Connor (second right) and Gerry Nicholls (fifth right), both Ovation Ireland; and Andrew Roche, Iarnróid Éireann (right).
Further media information:
Jasmine O’Brien, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 01-476 3425
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, 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.