Thirty tourism organisations from around the island of Ireland travelled to Las Vegas to join Tourism Ireland for this year’s IMEX America.
Only in its second year, IMEX (International Meetings and Events Exhibition) America is already an important event to reach key decision-makers in the lucrative business tourism industry in the US. Over 2,000 buyers from North America and elsewhere around the world attended the three-day show, which provided valuable networking opportunities for the participating Irish tourism operators. It was also a fantastic opportunity for Tourism Ireland to highlight the Gathering to top level representatives of the business tourism sector.
Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s head of North America, said that there was very good interest in the island of Ireland as a conference and incentive destination. “IMEX America is an important platform for Tourism Ireland and our partners to showcase the world-class conference, meetings and incentive facilities on offer right around the island of Ireland. Overall, business sentiment at the show was very positive, with interest in Ireland for conferences and incentive travel remaining high and advance business for 2013 and 2014 looking good.
“Tourism Ireland’s presence at IMEX America also presented a wonderful opportunity to highlight the Gathering and the fantastic programme of events planned for next year. This autumn, Tourism Ireland is undertaking an extensive programme of promotions in the US, 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.