This Week in Business: Selling Ireland as a conference destination

Fáilte Ireland to launch tourism strategy; Aryzta agm to address transparency issues

Aryzta chairman Gary McGann and CEO Kevin Toland. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Aryzta chairman Gary McGann and CEO Kevin Toland. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

 

Monday 11

Indicators: UK GDP growth (Q3), manufacturing and industrial production (Sep), construction output (Sep), business investment (Q3).

Meetings: Fáilte Ireland launch of 2020 investment strategy (Croke Park, Dublin 3).

Tapping into business tourism

Whatever ultimately happens with Brexit over the coming months, one industry that will need to respond in any event is tourism. Ever since the referendum result three years ago and the accompanying fluctuation in sterling, the fall in UK visitors has taken its toll.

Despite growth from other countries, this uncertainty, as well as an increasingly competitive international marketplace and cost pressures, will all be mulled over on Monday when Fáilte Ireland, the tourism development authority, unveils its plans for industry support for the year ahead.

The one-day event will focus on investment in four key areas: domestic marketing, including new campaigns; capital investments for more visitor attractions and activity providers; tourism careers and shortfalls in critical skills; and, yes, Brexit support and mentoring.

Already oversubscribed is a session on business tourism and selling Ireland as a conference/event destination, a valuable sub-sector in which each business delegate is worth €1,600, three times more than your average tourist.

Last month Fáilte Ireland’s Meet in Ireland team received the Best Improver Award for 2019 from the Global Destination Sustainability Index, which ranks business tourism destinations in terms of sustainability for hosting meetings, conferences and events.

Tuesday 12

Results: DCC, Hibernia Reit, Premier Foods, Nabriva Therapeutics, Deutsche Post DHL.

Indicators: Irish trade statistics (Aug); Euro zone economic sentiment index (Nov); UK unemployment (Sep), average earnings (Sep), labour productivity (Q3); German economic sentiment index (Nov); US business optimism index (Oct), consumer inflation expectations (Oct).

Meetings: World War Z climate change business marketing event (Thinkhouse, Fumbally Square, Dublin 8); Central Bank Retail Intermediary Roadshow (Carlton Hotel, Dublin Airport and on Wednesday, Connacht Hotel, Galway).

Wednesday 13

Results: Wizz Air Holdings.

Indicators: Euro zone industrial production (Sep); UK inflation (Oct), PPI input and output (Oct), retail price index (Oct); German inflation (Oct); US inflation (Oct).

Meetings: Public Sector Tendering & Procurement Conference (Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan, Co Dublin); Second annual conference on the Irish housing and mortgage market (ESRI, Whitaker Square, Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2); Blockchain and Banks with John Whelan, managing director of digital investment banking at Banco Santander (Institute of International and European Affairs, North Great George’s Street, Dublin 1).

Thursday 14

Results: IPL Plastics, Walmart.

Indicators: Irish residential property price index (Sep); Euro zone GDP (Q3); UK retail sales (Oct); German GDP flash (Q3); US PPI (Oct).

Meetings: Aryzta agm (Dübendorf, Switzerland); Data Protection Conference (Radisson Blu Golden Lane, Golden Lane, Dublin 8); Business Law Conference (Law Society of Ireland, Blackhall Place, Dublin 7).

Bonus scheme leaves sour taste at Aryzta

Shareholders at the Swiss-Irish bakery group Aryzta have been urged to reject a compensation report which was due to come before its agm on Thursday. Investor advisory group Glass Lewis advised earlier this month that there was a lack of transparency.

It raised concerns that a bonus scheme for regional executives rewards them for simply doing their jobs, and about a short-term bonus of €855,000 paid to chief executive Kevin Toland last year.

The former chief executive of Dublin airport owner DAA was brought into the troubled company two years ago.

The company has, however, claimed to have turned things around somewhat, even with further declines at its troubled US arm.

In October its latest full-year earnings reported a 1.5 per cent decline in group revenue to €3.38 billion for the 12 months to the end of July.

It said organic revenue, which strips the impact of acquisitions and disposals, was flat year-on-year – proof that underlying earnings had stabilised on foot of an extensive cost-cutting programme.

Friday 15

Indicators: Irish exports and imports (Sep); Euro zone inflation (Oct); US retail sales (Oct), export and import prices (Oct), retail sales (Oct), industrial and manufacturing production (Oct), business inventories (Sep).

Meetings: Small Firms Association annual lunch (Mansion House, Dublin 2).

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