Ireland to be a reward to top employees with focus on incentive travel for 2013

Ireland to be a reward to top employees with focus on incentive travel for 2013
Pictured at the Briefing were: Fiona O'Sullivan, Shaun Quinn, CEO Fáilte Ireland, and Kerstin Pace

Collaboration key to also secure more conference business this year

Ireland is aiming to build on its position as a major destination in the incentive travel sector, where companies reward employees with trips abroad, and this will be a central focus for Fáilte Ireland's Business Tourism Unit this year. This was one of the messages delivered today as Fáilte Ireland held a top level briefing for key players in the business tourism sector which took place in the Aviva Stadium.

Speaking at the briefing, Dan Flinter, Chairman of Fáilte Ireland's Business Tourism Forum emphasised that Ireland is extremely well placed to be marketed as a business tourism destination.

"Ireland has always been a good fit for business tourism across all sectors – conferencing, incentive and corporate meetings. As an industry we need to adopt the Team Ireland approach - promoting a culture of collaboration will be Ireland’s strength in winning business in the future."

As it is felt that there is great potential for growth in the incentives space, Fáilte Ireland today announced details of a new top-level Incentive Innovation Group to focus on winning more incentive based business to Ireland.  Keith McCormack of Fáilte Ireland’s Business Tourism Unit, stressed that the incentive sector is an area of strategic importance and has the potential to generate significant revenue for the Irish economy.

"Incentive travel is big business for the large multinationals with many placing significant emphasis on rewarding their employees. There is a real opportunity for Ireland to grow its share of this business, it is better to grow this pie rather than fight for a slice."  

The Incentive Innovation Group, with members of the industry on board, will now identify which countries present the biggest opportunities and what buyers we need to impress to get to those markets. Over the coming months the focus will be on looking at what we have, comparing it to our competitors and developing strategies unique to each market.

Mr McCormack continued –

"Our research shows that international incentive buyers are looking for a unique experience for their clients, something they cannot experience as individuals or in their own country. Although Ireland has a unique product and is renowned worldwide for its people and welcome, incentive clients now need something more. We are also tailoring our selling approach to the US and European markets as the needs and wants differ greatly as you cross the globe."  

International conferencing will also continue to be a priority for Fáilte Ireland this year. The conference sector is a cut-throat competitive business but Ireland continues to punch well above its weight. This year 158 international conferences will take place with a combined value of €72 million for the Irish economy. Next year and beyond is also looking positive with 58 conferences (worth €79 million to the Irish economy) already secured and a further 198 conferences (with a potential value of €268 million) currently being bid for.

The top three conferences taking place this year are:

  • The European Association for Osseo-integration (implant dentistry)

  • The European Congress for ISPOR (International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research) 2013

  • The Congress of the Federation of European Companion Animal Associations

These three alone represent a combined delegate attendance of 12,350 yielding €18.5 million to the Irish economy.

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For further information please contact:
Catherine Whelan
087 6449572/01 8847181

Louise Tolerton - Press Officer
086 6086578/01 8847135

Note for Editor

Fáilte Ireland, the national tourism development authority, was established in 2003 to guide and promote tourism as a leading indigenous component of the Irish economy.

The tourism and hospitality industry employs an estimated 185,000 people and generates almost €5.7 billion in revenue a year. 

Incentive Innovation Group Members

• Fiona O’Sullivan Custom Ireland
• Brian Murray, Aspects of Ireland
• Sue Uda, A Touch of Ireland
• Derek Wallace, Wallace Travel
• Aideen Morrin, Event partners
• Aileen Strachan, Druids Glen Resort
• Michelle King, The Malton Hotel
• Deirdre O’Brien, Carton House
• Roisin O’Sullivan, The Marker Hotel
• Keelin Fagan, Fáilte Ireland
• Alison Johnson, Fáilte Ireland
• Geraldine Jeffers, Fáilte Ireland

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