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01 May 2015

The island of Ireland means business in Washington DC!

Convention bureaux from the island of Ireland – including Dublin, Belfast, Cork and Shannon – travelled to Washington DC this week, to take part in a new ‘Meet in Ireland’ business tourism event, hosted at the Irish embassy by Irish Ambassador to the United States, HE Anne Anderson. The event was attended by senior representatives of American companies involved in organising international conferences, meetings and incentive events.

Meet in Ireland is the official MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) brand for the island of Ireland. It comprises three tourism authorities: Fáilte Ireland, Tourism Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland, who work in partnership to promote the island of Ireland as a leading conference and meeting destination.

With the new Aer Lingus flight between Washington DC and Dublin beginning this month, the event was an ideal opportunity to highlight ease of access from this part of the United States to Dublin – and to remind the influential conference and event planners based in the Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia area why the island of Ireland is such a great choice of destination for business travellers.

Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s head of North America, said: “We were delighted that these key decision-makers working in the business tourism sector took the time to come and meet with our convention bureaux partners from Ireland, demonstrating their keen interest in the island of Ireland as a business tourism destination in 2015. We are extremely grateful to Ambassador Anderson for hosting our Meet in Ireland event. This type of event provides us with a really good opportunity to spread the word about the world-class meetings, conference and incentive facilities on offer right around the island of Ireland."

“The new Aer Lingus flight from Washington DC to Dublin, launching this month, is wonderful news for tourism to the island of Ireland and we are working closely with Aer Lingus to maximise the promotion of this new route. As an island, the importance of convenient, direct flights cannot be overstated – they are absolutely critical to achieving growth in inbound tourism.”

Tourism Ireland in North America has a busy programme of promotions under way in 2015, to continue to build awareness of the island of Ireland as a world-class destination for association conferences and incentive travel – through a programme which includes direct marketing, B2B events and familiarisation visits for decision-makers working in the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) sector. The island of Ireland will also have a large presence at IMEX (International Meetings and Events Exhibition) America in October, with approximately 30 business tourism partners in attendance.

Bedra Tucker, International Association for Women's Mental Health; Lindsey Williamson, Visit Belfast; Norman Houston, NI Bureau, Washington DC; Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland; and Melissa Pagano, United Airlines, at the ‘Meet in Ireland’ business tourism event in Washington DC.

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.