Eighty leading French conference and meeting planners attended a networking ‘Meet in Ireland’ event in the prestigious Irish Embassy in Paris last week, organised by Tourism Ireland. The event provided a valuable opportunity for Tourism Ireland and 19 partners who travelled to Paris from Ireland – including hotels, conference venues, PCOs (professional conference organisers), convention bureaux and Aer Lingus – to showcase their product and to communicate what is unique about Ireland as a conference and business tourism destination. It was also an excellent opportunity for Tourism Ireland to highlight The Gathering Ireland 2013 to the influential guests.
Billy Condon, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Southern Europe, said: “We were delighted that so many of the key decision-makers from this sector in France took the time to come and meet our partners, demonstrating their keen interest in the island of Ireland as a business tourism destination for 2013 and beyond. Ireland has always been a strong player in the French marketplace for incentive business and we were very pleased with the strong turnout from the association conference sector, which – together with our industry partners – we are proactively targeting in 2013.
“This event was also an ideal platform for Tourism Ireland to highlight The Gathering Ireland 2013 to the influential decision-makers in attendance. Tourism Ireland has an extensive programme of promotions under way in France, 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. Tourism Ireland’s promotional programme to grow business tourism from France this year includes highlighting the superb meetings, incentive and transport infrastructure on offer here, the ease of access from France to Ireland, as well as the good value rates available for meetings and conferences.