Fáilte Ireland's flagship trade event, Meitheal, got underway today (Thursday 31 March) at the INEC in Killarney, Co. Kerry.
Running since 1975, Meitheal is organised in conjunction with Tourism Ireland to enable Irish tourism businesses to sell the best of Ireland to top international tourism buyers. Having taken place virtually in 2020 and 2021, the event has returned as in-person event this year.
Over the next two days, more than 420 Irish tourism businesses will pitch to more than 200 international buyers and tour operators from more than 19 countries and markets including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Norway, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the USA, and UK and USA based online travel agents. They will be showcasing the best of what they offer with the prize aim of being scheduled on the itineraries of the global tour operators, and it is expected that deals worth millions of euro to the Irish economy will be signed over the next two days.
Statement By Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport And Media
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Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin TD stated, "Trade events such as Meitheal will be hugely important for the recovery of the tourism sector and the significant number of international buyers attending shows the pent-up demand that exists. As a government, we have invested heavily in Ireland's tourism offering over many years and, for a small island, we have a huge amount to offer from world-class scenery, hospitality, activities, attractions, culture, heritage and food. It is fantastic to see so many businesses at Meitheal this year to showcase the richness of our tourism offering to these international buyers and tour operators."
Statement By Fáilte Ireland CEO
Failte Ireland CEO Paul Kelly stated, "Each international buyer here at Meitheal represents tens of thousands of possible visitors. The opportunity to influence their travel itineraries for 2023 and beyond is invaluable and will be hugely important for tourism and hospitality businesses, communities, and destination Ireland as we work towards recovery.
"We have continued to work closely with the tourism industry over the last two years to develop Ireland's tourism offering and ensure a strong pipeline of exciting tourism attractions, activities and experiences to attract visitors once international travel reopened. The international buyers and tour operators visiting Ireland and attending Meitheal this week will see first-hand what it is that sets Ireland apart as an outstanding visitor destination, and the countless reasons to sell Ireland to their clients."
The international buyers were brought on several fact-finding tours across the country over the last week, ahead of attending Meitheal. These bespoke itineraries, featuring tourism experiences from across Ireland's Hidden Heartlands, the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland's Ancient East, and Dublin, were designed by Fáilte Ireland with international buyers needs in mind to give them a first-hand experience of what holidaymakers can expect to see and do while in Ireland.
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