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31 Jan 2017

Doing the business for Ireland in Brussels

The island of Ireland was promoted as a top destination for business tourism in Brussels this week, at an event called ‘Meeting Matters’.

The networking event involved 40 representatives of various international associations based in Belgium meeting and doing business with ten different destinations, including Ireland, and 23 convention bureaux, including Cork Convention Bureau and Shannon Region Conference & Sports Bureau. 

The headquarters of more than 2,000 associations are in Brussels, making the city an important source of association conferences and business tourism for the island of 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.” 

Danielle Neyts continued: “Business tourism is an important, high yield sector and Tourism Ireland in Belgium will undertake a busy programme of promotions in 2017 to grow this type of tourism. Events like ‘Meeting Matters’ provide Tourism Ireland, and our partners from the island of Ireland, with an excellent 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. ‘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.   
  Rachel Deegan, Shannon Region Conference & Sports Bureau; Danielle Neyts, Tourism Ireland; Letitia Wade, Fáilte Ireland; and Seamus Heaney, Cork Convention Bureau, at the ‘Meeting Matters’ networking 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 2016, we welcomed approximately 10.5 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €5.4 billion.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted 19.37 million visitors in 2016.