Significant business deals are expected to be signed over the next three days at Meitheal – the largest trade event for the Irish tourism industry.
More than 450 Irish tourism providers will pitch their business to over 200 international buyers and tour operators from 17 countries.
The event gets underway at the Gleneagle INEC in Killarney today.
Running since 1975, Meitheal is Fáilte Ireland’s annual flagship trade event, which is organised in partnership with Tourism Ireland, to provide Irish tourism businesses with the opportunity to sell directly to top international buyers and tour operators.
The countries represented are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Great Britain and USA, including online Travel Agents.
The best of what is on offer across Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, Ireland’s Ancient East, the Wild Atlantic Way and Dublin, will be showcased with the aim of being scheduled on the itineraries of the global tour operators.
Key themes and trends emerging this year are sustainable travel options, immersive outdoor experiences and festivals.
Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland, said creating a strong pipeline of future business is key for the recovery of tourism.
“Each international buyer represents tens of thousands of possible visitors to Ireland, and their business will be hugely important for tourism and hospitality businesses, communities, and destination Ireland as we continue to work towards recovery.
“Despite the extremely challenging years the industry has experienced, we have managed to maintain and grow a strong pipeline of new exciting tourism attractions, activities and experiences throughout the country to attract visitors from both at home and overseas,” Mr Kelly said.
“With the significant investment in the tourism product in recent years, there are many new or improved attractions and experiences on offer all around Ireland that buyers will be learning about over the next three days.
He said buyers will leave Meitheal 2023 with many new additions to itineraries and countless reasons to sell Ireland to their clients.
Minister for Tourism, Catherine Martin, said throughout the pandemic, the Government focused on supporting the tourism industry to survive and now, we are beginning to see the sector recover with the return to the overseas market.
“For a small island, we have a huge amount to offer from world-class scenery, hospitality, activities, attractions, culture, heritage, and food so it is fantastic to see so many Irish businesses and international buyers coming together to do business at Meitheal this year.”