25 October 2015
By Bryan T. Smyth
Up to €230m in business was up for grabs at the Meet in Ireland 2015 – a five day programme bringing over 100 top international meeting planners face to face with Irish businesses to scope out future opportunities for corporate meetings and incentive travel. Meet in Ireland 2015 took place in the Royal Hibernian Academy, Ely Place this week with a number of Cork delegates attending the workshop, including The Cork Convention Bureau; Castlemartyr Resort; Clayton Silver Springs Hotel; The Fota Collection, The River Lee Hotel and Hayfield Manor.
The planners represent up to €230 million worth of potential business tourism events that Ireland can pitch for, and include representatives from 12 countries including, the US and Canada, Great Britain, Mainland Europe as well as India.
In addition to the workshop, a number of site visits have been organised around the country this weekend following the event to ensure this important group of meeting planners get a good taste for what Ireland can offer as a business destination. Site visits in Cork include a stay in the River Lee Hotel and Fota House. A tour of the English market, a cruise from Cork Harbour to Cobh, lunch and a visit with Darina Allen at the internationally renowned Ballymaloe Cookery School. A Fabulous Food Trail in Cork city followed by a visit to the gourmet capital of Ireland – Kinsale. The group will also enjoy some sailing activity with Sovereign Sailing, followed by a tour of Cork City Gaol and University College Cork.
Head of Business Tourism, Fáilte Ireland, Miriam Kennedy commented –
“Events such as Meet in Ireland 2015 give us the unique opportunity to showcase Ireland and indeed Cork as a business destination and we hope to persuade the top international meeting planners in this sector to bring their meetings and incentive visits to these shores in the near future. We were delighted so see so many Cork representatives at the workshop and some of the international buyers will be visiting the area this weekend to see for themselves what it has to offer.
“Business tourism is a highly competitive game, with a lucrative return which is why Fáilte Ireland is so committed to supporting Irish businesses to attract as many overseas visitors to our shores as possible. We have pulled out all the stops this week to ensure that the visiting buyers have an unforgettable experience and we are hopeful that this will translate into solid visitor numbers and increased revenue next year and into the future.”
The Meet in Ireland 2015 Dublin Programme was co-ordinated with the support of the Irish Tour Operators Association (ITOA). This is just one of a number of initiatives being run by Fáilte Ireland in conjunction with Tourism Ireland.
Photo of Miriam Kennedy, Failte Ireland; Patrice Hayes, Aghadoe Heights Hotel; Karen Fleming, Hayfield Manor, Norina O’Callaghan, Clayton Hotel Silversprings and Carole Machol-Atler, USA.