• Cyril McAree

Latest Estimates Show Impressive Growth in Business Tourism Sector

The latest Fáilte Ireland estimates, based on CSO figures, indicate that Business Travel from overseas markets is worth in excess of €700m to the Irish economy after growing 7% during the period 2015-2016. The sector is estimated to support approximately 21,000 jobs. Reflecting this growth, Fáilte Ireland’s Business Tourism & Events team have directly influenced €198m of promotable business (i.e. group business that can be activity bid on) won for Ireland in 2016 – an increase of 10% on business won for Ireland in 2015.

Speaking today Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Patrick O’ Donovan TD emphasised –

“These estimates not only identify Business Tourism and Events as a lucrative and important part of Ireland’s tourism offering, it also reinforces the importance the growing sector plays in creating employment which is crucial to delivering economic growth to Ireland. Fáilte Ireland has been doing some important and effective work in this area and their success is clearly illustrated in the figures released today.” Today’s research was announced as Dublin and Ireland’s international reputation continues to climb. New rankings recently released by the International Congresses and Conventions Association (ICCA) show the city rising five places to 13th in the world for hosting conferences and conventions and Ireland, overall, rising six places to 26th out of 133 countries.

Commenting on the estimates and the recent rankings, Fáilte Ireland CEO, Paul Kelly explained why Fáilte Ireland intends to continue to target this area of tourism: “Business and events is an incredibly important component of the overall tourism industry and generates above average yields, out-of-season visits and employment growth. Last year, Fáilte Ireland’s Business and Events team supported the conversion of over €150m worth of business for current and future years, while also supporting the conversion of €27.2m worth of business for regional Ireland. We in Fáilte Ireland intend to continue focussing on this lucrative part of the tourism market in 2017, delivering even more revenue and employment for the country for 2017 and beyond with a particular emphasis on growth potential beyond Dublin.”

As an example of its work to promote regional growth, Fáilte Ireland’s Business Tourism & Events team have been working closely with the Kerry Convention Bureau to promote the growth of Business Tourism in the south west. To that end, this week the Kerry Convention Bureau, with Fáilte Ireland, will introduce a new video showcasing the Business Tourism opportunities, high class facilities, superb accommodation, unforgettable food, activities and entertainment that exists in the county at IMEX – one of the largest worldwide exhibitions for incentive travel meetings and events attracting more than 9,000 buyers and trade members over two days (16-18 May). You can view the video here.

Speaking about the partnership Becky Hargrove, Sales Manager from Kerry Convention Bureau explained –

“We are delighted to be working with Fáilte Ireland to showcase this uplifting and inspiring video of Kerry which highlights the extensive facilities and unforgettable experiences the county has to offer the business traveller. From five star accommodations to exceptional activities and experiences Kerry has a lot to offer this sector and we are looking forward to exploiting this growing tourism sector to benefit the South West.”

Meanwhile, Fáilte Ireland hosted four hand-picked North American Association Conference Ambassadors in Dublin over the weekend representing 5,500 international delegates with a combined value of €9m in potential new business for Ireland up to 2025. While here they sampled some of Dublin’s stellar conferencing and event facilities before they travel to Frankfurt for the upcoming IMEX.

Finally, despite Brexit, there is still strong British interest in our Business tourism product. Fáilte Ireland targeted new UK business at its annual “Meet Dublin in London” event last week. The event, staged on the Thames, attracted its largest UK attendance ever with over 300 British meetings and events buyers taking advantage of the opportunity to meet directly with over 50 Irish hoteliers, business meeting venues and conference organisers to generate potential business worth €52million in new business for the conference and meetings sector in Dublin.

#FailteIreland #PatrickODonovan

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