Ireland’s most important travel trade event, Meitheal 2017, begins tomorrow at Punchestown with hundreds of key overseas tourism buyers from over 19 different countries meeting and agreeing future business with Irish tourism businesses.
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:
277 overseas tour operators from 19 different countries;
360 Irish businesses attending;
12,000 face to face meetings programmed;
13 detailed familiarisation tours for international operators - visiting Dublin, Ireland’s Ancient East and along the Wild Atlantic Way.
Welcoming delegates to Ireland and wishing them a productive few days, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Patrick O’Donovan addressed delegates emphasising:
“Meitheal is an integral part of the tourism calendar and has a proven ability to generate new business for the tourism sector. I am particularly pleased to see that a number of familiarisation trips have been arranged by Fáilte Ireland for the overseas buyers while they are here so that they can get a first-hand experience of Ireland. These trips can be a crucial part of closing the deal to sell Ireland and hopefully our overseas guests enjoy what they experience.”
The effectiveness of Meitheal has been emphasised by research from last year’s event found that:
Download our handy infographic highlighting the value of Meitheal to Irish tourism here.
90% of Irish businesses were satisfied with their experience at the trade event;
Two thirds of Irish attendees were expecting more business as a result of the 2016 event;
1,500 new contracts were signed, delivering approximately 850 customers per contract.
Meitheal seeks to sustain growth in a tourism sector which had a record year in 2016. The most recent CSO statistics confirmed that Ireland welcomed 9.5 million overseas visitors last year, translating into an 8% increase in overseas visitor revenue to over €4.5 billion.
Speaking today, Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland commented:
“The increase in revenue in 2016 underlines the strategic importance of tourism for the national economy and this country’s ongoing recovery. When you consider that every extra €1m generated by tourism supports almost 30 jobs, the potential for continued growth in the sector to drive further employment throughout the country is clear.
"Meitheal seeks to build on the growth of the last few years. We know we have a great product to sell. Fáilte Ireland, working hand in glove with Tourism Ireland and hundreds of Irish operators, will this week be seeking to maximise future growth by actively pitching to some of the most influential overseas tour operators out there.”
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