Five Irish business tourism specialists travelled to Brussels yesterday, for a special St Patrick’s ‘Meet in Ireland’ networking event. The event involved 25 representatives of various top international associations based in Belgium meeting and doing business with the Irish tourism companies.
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 – so the ‘Meet in Ireland’ event provided a valuable opportunity to showcase and sell Ireland to key decision-makers working in that area. 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, Tourism Ireland Belgium, said: “St Patrick’s Day traditionally marks the real start of the tourism season for us. We are using every opportunity to capitalise on Ireland’s heightened profile this week – so it’s a great time to hold our ‘Meet in Ireland’ event, highlighting 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.
Sinéad Dolan, Meet in Galway; Vanessa Koenig and Danielle Neyts, both Tourism Ireland; Letitia Wade, Fáilte Ireland; Mary Hartnett, Kerry Convention Bureau; Rachel Deegan, Shannon Convention Conference & Sports Bureau; Lynda Reilly, Dublin Convention Bureau; and Orla Kraft, Tourism Ireland, at a special St Patrick’s networking event for business tourism 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.