• Cyril McAree

Ireland’s Most Influential Travel Trade Event Opens As Meitheal 2018 Kicks Off Today


Meitheal 2018, Ireland’s most important annual travel trade event, takes place today and tomorrow (April 17-18th) with more than 360 Irish businesses from across the country flocking to the CityWest conference centre to sell the best of Ireland to top tourism buyers from every corner of the globe. Each of these buyers represents tens of thousands of possible customers and the opportunity to influence their travel itineraries for 2019 is invaluable.

Fáilte Ireland emphasised that, although tourism is doing well, nothing can ever be taken for granted and events like this are crucial to sustaining the activity which has underpinned recent tourism growth.

Held annually each spring and organised by Fáilte Ireland, in association with Tourism Ireland, Meitheal provides a platform for Irish tourism operators to win new contracts and customers for next season and beyond. This year’s event involves:

  • 302 top overseas tour operators from 23 countries, including delegates from Iceland, Japan and Qatar attending for the very first time;

  • 360 Irish businesses selling the best of the best of the country’s tourism offer over two days;

  • 12,000 face to face meetings programmed;

  • Familiarisation tours for international operators - visiting Dublin, Ireland’s Ancient East and the Wild Atlantic Way.

Welcoming delegates to Ireland and wishing them a productive few days, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Brendan Griffin, T.D., addressed delegates saying: “Last year alone Ireland welcomed an estimated 9 million tourists to regions across the country. For a small island, we have a huge amount to offer thanks to our world-class scenery, hospitality, activities, attractions, culture, heritage and food – the list is endless. The richness of our offer is testament to what a strong, collaborative and innovative industry we have.

“I’m delighted to welcome overseas delegates to this year’s Meitheal and I’m confident that over the coming days, they will see first-hand what it is that sets Ireland apart as an outstanding visitor destination.”

Paul Kelly, Fáilte Ireland’s Chief Executive, emphasised: “Ireland is very much noted for being the land of a thousand welcomes but tourism for us is not just about the big welcome - it is one of the country’s leading industries and a key economic driver. Tourism generates economic activity in communities across the length and breadth of the country and, in many regions, it is the foremost industry.”

“Fáilte Ireland knows that, as an industry, we must not rest on our laurels and take this success for granted. That’s why, through initiatives like Meitheal, we always strive to work with tourism partners of all shapes and sizes to find ways to constantly develop our offer as we attract visitors from all walks of life and all corners of the globe.”

The overseas buyers were also brought on several fact-finding tours across the country by Fáilte Ireland this weekend, ahead of attending Meitheal. Bespoke itineraries for the fact-finding tours were designed by Fáilte Ireland to give the overseas buyers a first-hand experience of what their clients can expect to see and do while in Ireland with a key focus on the tourism development authority’s destination brands – the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s Ancient East and Dublin.

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