Business Tourism & Conferences worth €700m to resurgent Irish economy

Ireland’s €700m business tourism sector is playing a significant role in the resurgent national economy, as the country becomes an increasingly attractive destination for conference & event organisers worldwide.

business tourism
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New figures from Ireland’s national tourism development authority estimate that international business tourism was worth more than €700m to the resurgent Irish economy in 2016.

The International Congresses and Conventions Association (ICCA) has underlined the significance of business tourism to Ireland, ranking the country 26th of 133 countries for hosting conferences and conventions.

“The estimates reinforce the importance this growing sector plays in creating employment, which is crucial to delivering economic growth in Ireland”.

Fáilte Ireland’s estimates, based on data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), show a 7 percent growth in business travel from overseas markets last year, and a sector that supports approximately 21,000 jobs.

Paul Kelly, the authority’s chief executive, told The Irish Times that business and events were “an incredibly important component” of Irish tourism, as generators of above-average yields, employment growth and out-of-season visits.

The general sectoral growth is reflected within Fáilte Ireland. HospitalityIreland.com reports that in 2016, the authority’s Business Tourism & Events team directly influenced €198m of promotable business won for the State last year. This was an increase of 10 percent on business the team helped secure for Ireland during 2015.

Dublin has emerged as a particularly strong component of Ireland’s business tourism offering, the capital having risen to 13th place in the ICCA’s global league of host cities for business conference events.

Patrick O’Donovan TD, Minister for Tourism & Sport, welcomed the latest figures, which, he said, “reinforce the importance this growing sector plays in creating employment, which is crucial to delivering economic growth in Ireland”.

Meanwhile, Fáilte Ireland’s work continues. Last week, it hosted its annual ‘Meet Dublin in London’ event (with an extra dimension this year, given the increase in companies seeking to relocate from post-Brexit Britain).

The meeting saw more than 300 buyers from the British meetings & events sector network with key Irish hoteliers and conference organisers. There is estimated potential business worth of €52m for the conferences sector in Dublin alone.

And HospitalityIreland.com repoirted that Fáilte Ireland hosted four North American Association Conference ambassadors in Dublin. The ambassadors represented more than 5,500 delegates, with a combined value of €9m in potential new business for Ireland up to 2025.