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Meeting planners tour country ahead of Connect16 Conference  

Photo credit: Sean Curtin, True Media. Connect16.

A group of 70 top international meeting planners, who bring international business worth over €210m annually to Ireland, are touring around the country in both Ireland’s Ancient East and the Wild Atlantic Way as well as Dublin, ahead of  the Connect16 Conference – Ireland’s largest ever showcase for the meetings and events sector.

As a title sponsor of Connect 16, Fáilte Ireland is using the opportunity of having so many key international operators in the country to highlight Ireland’s best visitor assets through a number of pre-event familiarisation trips, in conjunction with Tourism Ireland under the Meet in Ireland brand.

With bespoke itineraries designed by Fáilte Ireland, a group of international meeting planners from North America will experience first-hand what Limerick and Clare can offer as a business destination.  The group will participate in site visits to the University of Limerick, the Strand Hotel, the Savoy Hotel and Dromoland Castle together with a visit to popular tourist attractions including the Milk Market and King John’s Castle in Limerick and Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, Clare.




Commenting on their visit, Head of Business Tourism with Fáilte Ireland, Miriam Kennedy said, “We have pulled out all the stops to ensure that the visiting buyers have an unforgettable experience in Limerick and Clare, we are confident that this will translate into solid visitor numbers and increased revenue next year and into the future.”

“Business Tourism is one of the highest yield sectors in tourism and worth €669 million a year to the economy. Therefore, Connect16 provides a unique opportunity to showcase Ireland and persuade these top international meeting planners to bring their future conference and incentive business to these shores.” continues Miriam.

In addition to bespoke tours for the visiting delegates, Fáilte Ireland will be ramping up their Conference Ambassador Programme at Connect16.  The Conference Ambassador Programme is based on partnerships between Fáilte Ireland and Irish-based professionals with the ability to bring international conferences to Ireland.  The use of expert champions in academic, medical, and scientific circles is a key component in the successful approach to growing Ireland’s share of the international association meetings sector and winning big events.

Connect16, which is a brand new event, kicks off next Wednesday, September 28 in the RDS, Dublin.  The very best of Irish providers from across the hotel and venue sector as well as operators from the world of event technology, entertainment, activities, food and education will all come together under one roof to showcase their wares to both international and Irish meeting planners and conference organisers.


Picture: Sean Curtin, True Media.

Connect16 is the brainchild of Nicola McGrane, Managing Director of Conference Partners, Ireland’s leading business events specialists, who believes strongly in the political, social, economic, cultural, and educational value of the business tourism industry to Ireland.

“In Connect16, we wanted to create a platform to showcase our most talented speakers, entertainment acts, corporate activities and the very best of Irish food and drink, all of which are crucial in creating the unique Irish experience of which we are renowned.” expresses Nicola.

“By seeing our world-class infrastructure first hand, and experiencing the true essence of Ireland through our people, culture, music, dance, I’m confident that we can continue to grow the sector at a significant rate and attract further valuable international business to our shores. This all underpins Ireland’s position as the go-to destination for national and international congresses and events, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to showcase our country to some of the leading international events professionals as part of it,” concludes Nicola.

Read more about Connect 16 here.

Check out Failte Ireland here.

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.