Five Irish tourism companies and Aer Lingus joined Tourism Ireland in California last week, in a bid to grow business tourism from the west coast of the United States to the island of Ireland.
The Irish delegation took part in two networking ‘Meet in Ireland’ events in San Francisco and Newport Beach, which were attended by senior representatives of American companies involved in organising international meetings and incentive events.
With the recent launch of the new, year-round, Aer Lingus service between San Francisco and Dublin, this was the perfect time to target the influential event and conference planners based in California – highlighting the ease of access from the west coast of the United States to Dublin and reminding them why the island of Ireland is such a great choice for their clients.
Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s head of North America, said: “We were delighted that these key decision-makers from the business tourism sector in California took the time to come and meet our Irish partners, demonstrating their keen interest in the island of Ireland as a business tourism destination. This type of event provides us with a really good opportunity to spread the word about the world-class meetings, conference and incentive facilities on offer right around Ireland.
“The new Aer Lingus flight from San Francisco to Dublin is wonderful news for tourism to the island of Ireland and we are working closely with Aer Lingus to maximise the promotion of this new route. As an island, the importance of convenient, direct, non-stop flights cannot be overstated – they are absolutely critical to achieving growth in inbound tourism.”
Business tourism is an extremely important, high yield sector and Tourism Ireland is working hard to promote the island of Ireland in the US as a premier destination for business travellers. The organisation’s extensive programme includes familiarisation visits for decision-makers working in the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) sector, direct marketing, networking events, as well as business tourism promotions like AIBTM in Orlando in June and IMEX America in October.
Paula Cogan, The River Lee Hotel, Cork (left), meeting with travel agents at Tourism Ireland’s ‘Meet in Ireland’ event in Newport Beach, California.
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 approximately €3.64 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.