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20 Feb 2015

‘Try’ for tourism!

Rugby legend Ronan O’Gara lends a hand to boost business tourism from France

Rugby legend Ronan O’Gara joined Tourism Ireland and six Irish tourism companies in France, for a business tourism promotion which took place in the prestigious Irish Embassy in Paris.

The ‘Meet in Ireland’ event – which was attended by about 100 members of Racing Métro’s Business Club, who all have the capacity to bring MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) business to Ireland – provided Tourism Ireland and its partners with a valuable opportunity to network and do business with the influential French decision-makers in attendance.

Given Ronan O’Gara’s high profile involvement with the French rugby union team, Tourism Ireland was delighted to enlist the help of the former Irish out-half, to highlight the island of Ireland as a superb location for meetings and conferences. Monica MacLaverty, Tourism Ireland’s manager of southern Europe, said: “We were delighted that these important French corporate contacts took the time to meet with our Irish partners, to hear about the superb facilities on offer right around the island of Ireland. One of our key messages was the ease of access from France to the island of Ireland – including expanded Aer Lingus services and the new Transavia flight from Paris-Orly to Dublin. France is the third most important market for business tourism to Ireland and Tourism Ireland has a busy programme of promotional activity in place for 2015 to grow this type of tourism.”

Business tourism is one of the highest yield sectors in tourism, with the average spend of business travellers being significantly higher than that of leisure tourists.

  Rugby legend Ronan O’Gara with Caroline Phelan and Monica MacLaverty, both Tourism Ireland, at a business tourism event in the Irish Embassy in Paris.

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 2014, we welcomed an estimated 8.6 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €4.26 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, available in ten different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world. In 2014, attracted about 14.25 million visitors.