• Cyril McAree

Winning In Irish Tourism – AVEA (Assoc. Visitor Experience & Attractions) Inaugural Conference


The Chairman, Paul Carty and the Board of AVEA are delighted to announce details of the inaugural national conference. The purpose of the conference is to bring together businesses in the visitor Attractions & Experience sector that deliver a full Irish visitor experience. AVEA – The Association of Visitor Experiences & Attractions was formed in 2017 as a representative organisation for this sector of Irish Tourism and has 75 members nationally. This is the first, of what is intended to be a fixed Conference in the Irish Tourism calendar for the sector.

This year’s conference theme is ‘Planning for Future Success’ and members along with industry colleagues will hear from inspiring speakers from the industry and Tourism agencies including: · Charles Coyle, General Manager, Tayto Park · Mark Henry, Central Marketing Director, Tourism Ireland · Paddy Mathews, Head of Attractions, Fáilte Ireland · Esther Dugdale, Creative Director, Event Communications · Jennifer Kennedy, Founder JK Consulting · Keynote Speaker – Nick Varney, CEO, Merlin Entertainments will Paul Carty, Chairman of AVEA said ‘The purpose of this, our inaugural conference is to bring together top class speakers from within the industry and associated with our sector who will share their individual experiences, global trends and expertise, providing valuable insights and learnings with our delegates. We are very pleased and excited to have Nick Varney, CEO, Merlin Entertainments, as our Key Note Speaker at our conference this year. Nick has spoken at many global conferences and events. He brings a unique understanding of the global Visitor Attractions & Entertainment industry and will share some really interesting thoughts and insights with us at this year’s AVEA Conference. We have received a very positive response from members and industry colleagues to the conference and I am very confident that it will be a day which will bring rich insights to all.” The afternoon panel sessions will be moderated by Pól Ó Conghaile, Travel Editor, The Irish Independent. Discussion topics include ‘the importance of the food experience & the value of the group touring and global travel trade business’. Participants in these sessions are experts in these areas and members of AVEA who will share their experiences of delivering on and to these audiences. · Jacinta Dalton, Head of Department for Culinary Arts & Service Industries, GMIT · Eveleen Coyle, Founder and Lead Guide, Fab food Trails · Grainne Kelliher, CEO, Airfield Estate · Darren Byrne, President ITOA – Irish Tour Operators’ Association · Ann Kilcoyne, Sales & Marketing Manager, Glasnevin Cemetery Museum · Stephen Cotter, Chief Operations Officer, CIE Tours International · David McCoy, Commercial Director, House of Waterford Crystal · Christine Upton, Senior Supplier Relationship Manager, Tracoin Service LTD “2017 was yet another record-breaking year for Irish tourism with export earnings of almost €5 Million and overseas visitor numbers of 8.9Million. The Visitor Attractions and Experience sector is a fundamental part of the industry in that we provide motivation for visitors to chose Ireland as a holiday destination and entertain the visitors all day and in many cases in the evenings when holidaying here. Our sector welcomed 14 million visitors last year so planning for continued and future success is vital and our members look forward to working together and with Fáilte Ireland to ensure we continue to not only meet but exceed visitor expectations” says Paul Carty Chairman AVEA.

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