Tourism organisations from Ireland met with influential Belgian conference and meeting planners at a networking ‘Meet in Ireland’ event in Brussels, organised by Tourism Ireland.
The event provided a valuable opportunity for the participating Irish companies – including hotels, PCOs (professional conference organisers), convention bureaux and venues – to showcase their product and to communicate what is unique about the island of Ireland as a conference and business tourism destination. It was also an excellent opportunity for Tourism Ireland to highlight The Gathering Ireland to the influential guests in attendance.
Danielle Neyts, Tourism Ireland Belgium, said: “Given that the headquarters of over 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. We were delighted so many of these key Belgian business tourism decision-makers took the time to meet our Irish partners, to hear about our superb meetings and conference facilities and what makes the island of Ireland unique as a business destination.
“This event was also an ideal platform for Tourism Ireland to highlight The Gathering Ireland 2013. Although the major focus of Tourism Ireland’s promotional activity to highlight The Gathering this year is in countries with a strong Diaspora connection – like Britain, the US, Canada and Australia – we are also working hard in markets like Belgium to highlight Ireland and 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.