Business tourism is a hugely significant driver in the Irish economy, and particularly here in Cork, where it delivered an impressive €11.5 million to the local economy last year. Following on from last year’s success, 20 conferences are already confirmed for Cork this year, securing a further €12 million for the local economy.
This hugely lucrative sector of the tourism industry is being celebrated at an event in Cork this morning, which is being jointly hosted by Cork Convention Bureau and Fáilte Ireland. The purpose of the event is to showcase the importance of business tourism to the Irish economy, and to recognise that Cork is the top performing region outside of Dublin for attracting international conferences and events.
Ciara Gallagher, Head of Business Tourism & Events, Fáilte Ireland, highlighted ambitious plans for attracting business tourists to Ireland this year, and outlined how Cork is leading the way at a regional level. “International Business Tourism is worth €340 million to the Irish economy and supports almost 10,000 jobs throughout the country. For this coming year, we have set ourselves a target of winning €157 million worth of new business tourism for Ireland”.
“Fáilte Ireland’s ‘Meet in Ireland’ initiative is designed to support and mentor conference ambassadors, as they bid for, and host, international conferences. We are delighted that 8,000 delegates chose Cork as their preferred destination for international conferences in 2016, delivering €11.5 million to the local economy. I can honestly say that we have never had more Cork-based ambassadors involved in our ‘Meet in Ireland’ programme, and our team has never been more active in this region”, concluded Ms Gallagher.
Séamus Heaney, Chairman, Cork Convention Bureau, said, “When highlighting the value of business tourism to the Cork region, it’s important to note that one business tourist is worth three times more, in revenue terms, than a leisure tourist. Indeed, a recent survey found that the economic value of a business tourist was approximately €1,600 per delegate in 2016, up from €1,500 in 2015. With that in mind, I’m delighted to be able to confirm that we already have upwards of 20 conferences confirmed for Cork in 2017, with a combined value of €12 million to the local economy”.
“This level of success simply wouldn’t be possible without the support of both local Authorities – Cork City & County Councils – along with Meet in Ireland, the local branch of the Irish Hotels Federation, Cork Airport Authority and Cork Chamber, which is hugely important and very much appreciated. In conclusion, I would like to pay tribute to our industry partners and our ambassadors who continue to fly the flag for Cork, both here at home and abroad”, said Mr Heaney.