Eight tourism organisations from around the island of Ireland travelled to Brussels recently, to participate in a networking ‘Meet in Ireland’ event, organised by Tourism Ireland.
The event, attended by some of the top conference and meeting planners based in Belgium, provided a valuable opportunity for the participating Irish companies – including hotels, PCOs (professional conference organisers) and convention bureaux – to showcase their product and to communicate what is unique about the island of Ireland as a conference and business tourism destination. The headquarters of more than 2,000 associations are based in Brussels, making the city an important source of association conferences and business tourism for Ireland.
Danielle Neyts, Tourism Ireland Belgium, said: “Given that the headquarters of more than 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. Business tourism is an important, high yield sector and Tourism Ireland in Belgium has a busy programme of promotions under way throughout 2014, to grow this type of tourism. This type of networking events provides Tourism Ireland, and our industry partners, with a wonderful opportunity to highlight our world-class business and conference facilities, as well as the great experiences delegates can enjoy in Ireland on the sidelines of their conference or meeting.”
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.
Taking part in Tourism Ireland’s ‘Meet in Ireland’ event in Brussels were (l-r) Bronagh McKee, Ballsbridge Hotel, Dublin; Cathy Joyce, Citywest Hotel, Dublin; Orla Kraft and Zoë Redmond, both Tourism Ireland; Susan Sheahan, Clyde Court Hotel, Dublin; Michelle Murphy, Kerry Convention Bureau; Lindsey Williamson, Visit Belfast; Patricia McColgan, Abbey Conference & Corporate; Christoph Haustein, Tifco Hotels; Jennifer Churchward, Fáilte Ireland; Elaine McPartlan and Danielle Neyts, both Tourism Ireland.
Further media information:
Brian Swift, 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 2013, we welcomed an estimated 8 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of almost €4 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, available in ten different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world.