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12 Nov 2015

Ireland means business in California

B2B events connect Irish companies with US business tourism buyers

Eight Irish tourism businesses are in California this week, taking part in ‘Meet in Ireland’ events in Los Angeles and San Francisco – aimed at growing business tourism from the west coast of the US to the island of Ireland.

Both B2B networking events were attended by senior representatives of companies based in California, who are involved in organising international conferences, meetings and incentive events.  

Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s head of North America, said: “We were delighted that these influential buyers in Los Angeles and San Francisco took the time to come and meet with our Irish tourism partners, demonstrating their keen interest in the island of Ireland as a business tourism destination in 2016 and beyond. 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.”

With a new Aer Lingus flight between Los Angeles and Dublin set to commence in 2016, in addition to the existing Aer Lingus San Francisco to Dublin flight and Ethiopian Airlines’ service from Los Angeles, the events were also an ideal opportunity to highlight the ease of access from the west coast of the US – reminding the American buyers why the island of Ireland is such a great choice for their business clients.

Alison Metcalfe continued: “The new Aer Lingus flight from Los Angeles to Dublin, launching in May 2016, 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 has undertaken an extensive programme of activity in the United States this year, to highlight the island of Ireland as a premier destination for business travellers. This has included familiarisation visits to Ireland for decision-makers working in the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) sector, direct marketing, a presence at IMEX (International Meetings and Events Exhibition) America, as well as a series of networking ‘Meet in Ireland’ events.

  Billy Condon and Marie McKown, both Tourism Ireland; Christoph Haustein, Tifco Hotel Group; Michelle Blake, The Marker Hotel; Rachel Sweeney, Tourism Ireland; Séamus Heaney, Cork Convention Bureau; Róisín Gaffney, Fáilte Ireland; Monica O’Byrne, Carton House Hotel; and Seán Carney, Lough Eske Castle, at the ‘Meet in Ireland’ business tourism event in Los Angeles.

Notes To Editors

  • ‘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.   
  • 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 8.4 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of €4.1 billion.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.Ireland.com, 29 market sites available in ten language versions around the world, which will attract more than 16 million visitors in 2015.