Promoting Ireland as a top destination for business tourism in the United States
Five Irish tourism companies attended this year’s SMU (Successful Meetings University) International in New York over the weekend. The event attracted about 100 top American MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) professionals, all on the lookout for exciting and unique business tourism destinations.
Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Head of North America, said: “Events like SMU International are an important platform to continue to build awareness of Ireland and our world-class business tourism offering. Business tourism is the most lucrative form of tourism, with visitors travelling to Ireland for business purposes spending about 2.5 times more than the average holidaymaker.
“2016 was the fourth record-breaking year in a row for visitor numbers to Ireland from North America. Our ambition is to surpass the record-breaking performance of 2016 and to deliver a +9% increase in revenue and a +6% increase in visitor numbers from North America in 2017 i.e. €1.6 billion generated by 1.7 million visitors.”
‘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 NI – who work in partnership to promote the island of Ireland as a leading conference and meeting destination.
John Costelloe, Powerscourt Hotel; Gerry Browne, Killarney Hotels; Marie McKown, Tourism Ireland; Stephanie Hughes, The Westin Dublin; and Columba O'Reilly, Event Partners, at SMU International in New York.
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.