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05 Jun 2015

Business ‘buzz’ in Brussels

B2B ‘Meet in Ireland’ event aims to grow business tourism from Belgium

Eight business tourism organisations from the island of Ireland travelled to Brussels this week, to participate in a networking ‘Meet in Ireland’ event.

Meet in Ireland is the official MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) brand for the island of Ireland, which comprises three tourism authorities, Fáilte Ireland, Tourism Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland.

The B2B event, attended by some 25 top conference and association meeting planners based in Belgium, provided a valuable opportunity for the participating companies from Ireland – including hotels, PCOs (professional conference organisers) and convention bureaux – to showcase their product and to communicate what is unique about the island of Ireland as a conference and business tourism destination. The headquarters of more than 2,000 associations are based in Brussels, making the city an important source of association conferences and business tourism for Ireland.

Danielle Neyts, Tourism Ireland Belgium, said: “Given that the headquarters of more than 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. Business tourism is an important, high yield sector and we have a busy programme of promotions under way throughout 2015, to grow this type of tourism. This type of networking event provides a wonderful opportunity to highlight our world-class business and conference facilities, as well as the great experiences delegates can enjoy in Ireland on the sidelines of their conference or meeting.”

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.

  Susan Nolan, Advantage PCO; Françoise Moehler, Recharge Batteries Association; Séamus Heaney, Cork Convention Bureau; Danielle Neyts, Tourism Ireland; Jenny Finegan, Dublin Convention Bureau; and Stella Sauvan, European Conference for Aerospace Sciences, at the ‘Meet in Ireland’ business tourism event in Brussels.

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 8.4 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €4.1 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.Ireland.com, available in ten different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world. In 2014, Ireland.com attracted about 14.25 million visitors.