19 April 2016
By David O’Sullivan
Three Irish tourism companies, including Joe O’Reilly Ireland Group (based in Blackpool), travelled to France recently, to attend Heavent Meetings. The two-day trade show for the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) and business travel sector took place at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès in Cannes.
Also known as The European Trade Show for MICE and Events, the Heavent Meetings event gave the participating Irish tourism companies an excellent opportunity to meet, and do business with, more than 500 leading French corporate meeting and event planners at the ‘Meet in Ireland’ stand.
Meet in Ireland is the official MICE brand for the island of Ireland, which comprises three tourism authorities, Fáilte Ireland, Tourism Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland.
Elmagh Killeen, Tourism Ireland’s Manager for Southern Europe, said: “Events like Heavent Meetings are a good platform to continue to grow awareness of the island of Ireland and our world-class business and conference facilities. 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.”
France is one of our top four tourism markets, delivering about 505,000 visitors to Ireland last year (+11% growth on 2014).
Elmagh Killeen continued: “2015 was the third consecutive record-breaking year for French visitors to Ireland and 2016 is also off to a good start, with the latest CSO figures already showing an +11% increase for December 2015 to February 2016 – that’s 8,400 more visitors than during the same three-month period last year.”
Tourism Ireland is undertaking an extensive programme of promotions throughout 2016, to continue to build awareness of the island of Ireland as a world-class destination for business tourism. Activity includes networking ‘Meet in Ireland’ events, email marketing, a presence at business tourism shows, as well as familiarisation visits to the island of Ireland for key decision-makers working in the MICE sector.
PIC SHOWS: Caroline Phelan, Tourism Ireland; Deirdre Purcell, Intercontinental Dublin; Niamh Burns, The Convention Centre Dublin; and Frédéric Charlot, Joe O’Reilly Ireland group, at Heavent Meetings in Cannes.