Six tourism companies from the island of Ireland travelled to Brussels recently, for a networking ‘Meet in Ireland’ event.
The headquarters of more than 2,000 associations are in Brussels, making the city an important source of association conferences and business tourism for Ireland – so the ‘Meet in Ireland’ event provided a valuable opportunity to showcase and sell the island of Ireland to key decision-makers working in that area. ‘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.
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 Tourism Ireland in Belgium has an extensive programme of promotions under way throughout 2016, to grow this type of tourism. This type of networking event is 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.
Aoife Glenn, Belfast Waterfront and Ulster Hall; Catherine Bodley, O’Callaghan Hotels; Christoph Haustein, TIFCO Hotel Group; Gráinne Ní Ghiollagain, Croke Park Hotel and Conference Centre; Sarah Fleming, Visit Belfast; Danielle Neyts, Tourism Ireland; Letitia Wade, Fáilte Ireland; Orla Kraft, Tourism Ireland; and Rachel Deegan, Shannon Region Conference & Sports Bureau, at a networking ‘Meet in Ireland’ 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 220,000 people.
- In 2015, we welcomed approximately 9.3 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €4.7 billion.
- Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, 29 market sites available in ten language versions around the world, which attracted about 16.5 million visitors in 2015.