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Showing off what we have to offer

Wednesday, 24th April, 2019 4:03pm

If you needed proof that Ireland is a great place to holiday in, take a recent tourism event where many hotels and tourist attractions got to show off their wares.

Running since 1975, Meitheal is Fáilte Ireland’s flagship trade event, which is organised in conjunction with Tourism Ireland, and enables businesses in the Irish tourism industry including representatives from Cork, to pitch face-to-face to hugely influential international buyers from across the Globe.

This year’s event was the most significant in Meitheal’s history especially with the possibility of a no-deal Brexit looming.

Meitheal is the only event of its scale that brings overseas buyers to Ireland to meet tourism businesses directly on home ground and is invaluable for the Irish trade.

The overseas buyers were also brought on several fact-finding tours across the country, including Cork’s Charles Fort Kinsale, Kinsale Mead Company, Lusitania Museum and Signal Tower, Wild Atlantic Sports (cycling), Clonakilty Distillery, Michael Collins Centre, Clonakilty Black Pudding Centre, Skibbereen Heritage Centre, Crowleys Farm Tour, West Cork Garden Tour on the Wild Atlantic Way and the Jameson Experience, Titanic Experience Cobh and Youghal Clockgate Tower last weekend, ahead of attending Meitheal.

These bespoke itineraries were designed by Fáilte Ireland to give the overseas buyers a first-hand experience of what holidaymakers can expect to see and do while in Ireland.

In addition to the leisure tourism buyers Fáilte Ireland also brought influential overseas meeting planners to Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Galway, Kilkenny, Wicklow and Kildare, helping to grow business tourism in each of the regions. Business tourism is a highly lucrative sector with each conference delegate worth €1600 to the local economy.

Speaking about the importance of this event to Cork, Fáilte Ireland’s Josephine O’Driscoll, Manager with the Wild Atlantic Way team, emphasised: “Last year was a ‘best-ever’ for tourism in Ireland. The industry now generates €7.8bn in revenue and employs 260,000 people. To maintain this momentum the industry must intensify its international sales focus, showcase Ireland as a highly authentic holiday destination and demonstrate a willingness and ability to adapt to ever-changing markets and consumer preferences."

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