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Tourism; Culture; Arts; Sport and Media | Business tourism engagement

To ask the Minister for Tourism; Culture; Arts; Gaeltacht; Sport and Media the extent to which business tourism continues to be encouraged with the obviously necessity of having to compete internationally; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

About Tourism Ireland:
Tourism Ireland is responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a compelling holiday destination and undertakes marketing campaigns in more than 21 source markets for tourism to Ireland. Our top four markets for overseas tourism are Great Britain, the United States, Germany and France (pre-Covid, they accounted for over 70% of overseas tourism business). Our organisation was established under the Belfast Agreement of Good Friday, 1998. Before COVID-19, in 2019, we welcomed almost 11.3 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, whose visits delivered revenue of €5.9 billion.

Promoting the island of Ireland as a world-class business tourism destination:

As part of our overall extensive and targeted programme of promotions, Tourism Ireland continue to build awareness of the island of Ireland as a world-class destination for business tourism, including incentive travel. Upcoming activity in the United States includes attendance at IMEX (International Meetings and Events Exhibition) America, a major trade show targeting decision-makers in the lucrative MICE (meetings, incentive, conferences and events) industry, which will take place on 10-13 October in Las Vegas. Jointly, the ‘Meet in Ireland’ team, together with 35 partners from the island of Ireland, will attend IMEX America – participating in scheduled appointments and three evening networking events with top meetings and incentive buyers.

Activity in the US also includes proactively sourcing sales leads and requests for proposals (RFPs). A six-month digital campaign kicked off earlier this year on Cvent, a global RFP generation platform for business events.

In Great Britain, Tourism Ireland’s activity to grow business tourism will include a ‘North of England Retreat’ on 6-7 October in Lancashire, when 12 island of Ireland industry partners will meet with 15 GB event agencies and corporate meeting planners. And, our annual ‘Ireland Meets the West End’ showcase event in London will take place on 11 November, bringing top British conference organisers and agencies together with around 35 tourism businesses from
across the island of Ireland. I hope this gives you a flavour of our promotional activity to highlight the island of Ireland for business tourism.

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