Record results in attracting business tourism

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Members and associates of the Shannon Region Conference and Sports Bureau celebrating a record level of business tourism. Photo: Cian Reinhardt
Members and associates of the Shannon Region Conference and Sports Bureau celebrating a record level of business tourism. Photo: Cian Reinhardt

BUSINESS tourism in the Shannon Region has recorded a significant increase over the past year.

That’s according to the Shannon Region Conference and Sports Bureau who have reported a jump from €7.5million worth of business tourism in 2018 to €11.6 million last year.

And, given the absence of a large capacity conference-type venue, Bureau Chairman Tony Brazil said that the record level of growth was a tremendous achievement.

“We are pushing hard for the development of a large multi-purpose conference venue in the region.  This will ensure that the region continues to gain its share of this fast-growing market both nationally and internationally,” the Limerick travel agent explained.

The business results were highlighted at a Bureau planning meeting where it was outlined how the Midwest can capitalise on lucrative business and sports tourism opportunities.

High on the agenda was the potential for a proposed large-scale venue.

“Business Tourism is incredibly important to Ireland and indeed the Shannon region. Each delegate is worth €1,600 to the local economy. In other words, each 1,000 person event can contribute €1.6 million to the local exchequer,” Mr Brazil added.

Bureau Manager Karen Brosnahan paid tribute to local third-level colleges in bringing business tourism to the region.

“We have tremendous support from our academic institutions in UL, LIT, MIC and LSAD whose academic staff and conference teams work tirelessly with the bureau and Failte Ireland to bid for and secure international association conferences.

“We are working in partnership with the chambers of commerce and corporate companies locally as part of our “bring your meeting home” campaign, utilising the fantastic support both practical and financial available through our partners in Failte Ireland to anyone attracting an international conference to the region.”

Fáilte Ireland head of commercial development Paul Mockler said that the national tourism agency had a strategic objective to grow business regionally and seasonally, and business tourism is a key element of that.

“We are delighted to have supported the Bureau and its members to achieve such strong numbers in 2019,” he added.