The flagship event for the Irish tourism sector, Meitheal, gets underway today, with 480 Irish tourism businesses set to meet with more than 200 buyers from around the globe between now and 15 April.
According to Catherine Martin, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, the event, which is organised by Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland, is crucial in establishing how Ireland will be "ready for the rebound" in international tourism.
"I am really pleased to see the significant number of Irish businesses and overseas buyers from over 19 countries registered this year," she said. "This shows the pent-up demand that exists, now more than ever, for what Ireland has to offer as a country."
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More than 8,650 appointments are scheduled over the three days, with the event potentially worth millions of euro to the Irish economy, Fáilte Ireland said in a statement.
Some 216 tourism buyers are taking part in this year's event, which is taking place virtually.
“As a Government, we have invested heavily in Ireland’s tourism offering over many years," said Martin. "Working with the trade and agencies such as Fáilte Ireland, we have created and developed significant ideas which we believe stand out and act as a magnet for visitors."
Elsewhere, Fáilte Ireland CEO Paul Kelly commented, “Our Irish tourism businesses are acutely aware that it is vital to take the time to start reconnecting with international business contacts and securing business for next year and beyond.
"The opportunities gained at virtual Meitheal will be all important for tourism and hospitality businesses, communities, and destination Ireland, particularly for the years ahead when it is safe once again for international travel to return to Ireland."
Elsewhere, the Hospitality & Tourism Expo is also taking place today, with some 2,5000 attendees registered. This year's event features the theme Reset & Recover.
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