Ireland climbs ranks as conferencing venue
IRELAND IS growing in popularity as an international conference destination, according to the latest rankings from the International Congress and Convention Association.
Now at number 33, Ireland has moved up four places while in the city destination rankings, Dublin has jumped nine places to 23.
Fáilte Ireland, the tourism development authority, welcomed the news and said it would be investing €3.7 million in the business tourism sector this year. Its head of business tourism, Keith McCormack, said Fáilte Ireland’s conference ambassador scheme was bringing real results and was working with 333 “conference ambassadors” to bring more conferences here.
“The work is on-going and currently we are financially supporting work towards winning a further 157 conferences which, if realised, will provide a potential €111 million boost to the Irish economy,” he said.
The news came as delegates began arriving for the International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders, at Convention Centre Dublin. It’s the first time the five-day event is being held in Dublin and Prof Tim Lynch from the Mater hospital said it would be world’s second biggest neurology meeting this year.
Up to 5,000 international delegates are expected to attend. Taoiseach Enda Kenny opened the conference last night. Prof Lynch aid the interest in the congress from outside Ireland had “smashed all previous records. This is not just a coup for the advancement of science but also for the city which I believe stands to benefit by over €8 million, over the course of the week.”
New Fáilte Ireland research has found that nine in 10 overseas conference delegates registered a “very satisfied” rating for their experience of Ireland as a conference destination. Almost 85 per cent said that they would certainly recommend Ireland as a conference destination. And almost nine in 10 delegates said they would also highly recommend Ireland as a holiday destination.
On average, international delegates spent more than six days in Ireland with nearly a quarter of delegates using conferences to mix business and leisure.
Almost half the international delegates were from mainland Europe, with one in five from North America.