Cork Airport

Minister O’Donovan Join Local Cork Tourism Businesses At Ireland’s Biggest Tourism Trade Event

Apr 04, 2017

Hundreds of International Travel Agents and Tour Operators Meet Irish Businesses to Discuss Trade for 2018

Minister of State for Tourism, Patrick O’Donovan joined members of the Cork tourism trade at Ireland’s most important travel trade event, Meitheal 2017. The two day event, which took place locally at Punchestown, last Wednesday and Thursday, involved hundreds of key overseas tourism buyers from over 19 different countries meeting and agreeing future business with Irish tourism businesses.
Cork businesses who attended included Fota Island Resort, Maryborough Hotel & Spa, the Titanic Experience Cobh, Hayfield Manor Hotel, Montenotte Hotel, Fernhill House Hotel, Cork Airport Hotel, Cobh Heritage Centre, Titanic Trail, Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa Cork, Wild Way Tours, Actons Hotel, Blarney Woollen Mills, Visit Cork, Springfort Hall County House, West Cork Hotel, Charleville Park Hotel, Maritime Hotel, Carlton Hotel Kinsale, Celtic Ross Hotel, Irish Rugby Tours, Flynn Hotel Group, MBA & Irish Choice, Flynn Hotel Group, Youghal Gate Clock Tower, Glengarriff & Garinish Boat Services and Sheep’s Head & Bantry Tourism took part in the appointments with international agents.    
Held annually each spring and organised by Fáilte Ireland, in association with Tourism Ireland, Meitheal provides a platform for Irish tourism operators to win new contracts and customers for next season and beyond. This year’s event involved:

  • 277 overseas tour operators from 19 different countries
  • 360 Irish businesses attending
  • 12,000 face to face meetings programmed
  • 13 detailed familiarisation tours for international operators - visiting Dublin, Ireland’s Ancient East and along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Speaking at the event, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Patrick O’Donovan said: “Meitheal is an integral part of the tourism calendar and has a proven ability to generate new business for the tourism sector. I am sure that the meetings which have taken place over the last few days will result in an increase in business contracts and visitors for Ireland and for Cork.”  
Click here to see a handy infographic highlighting the value of Meitheal to Irish tourism.
The annual event seeks to sustain growth in a tourism sector which had a record year in 2016. The most recent CSO statistics confirmed that Ireland welcomed 9.5 million overseas visitors last year, translating into an 8% increase in overseas visitor revenue to over €4.5 billion.

Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland commented: “The increase in revenue in 2016 underlines the strategic importance of tourism for the national economy and this country’s ongoing recovery. When you consider that every extra €1m generated by tourism supports almost 30 jobs, the potential for continued growth in the sector to drive further employment throughout the country is clear.  Meitheal seeks to build on the growth of the last few years.”
Pictured from left: Michael Martin, Titanic Trail; Paul Kelly, Fáilte Ireland; Annie Shattuck, Ireland Unclocked Tours, USA; Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland and Jack Walsh, Cobh Heritage. (Photo: Chris Bellew / Fennell Photography)