Fáilte Ireland has announced that January has been a record month for attracting international business conferences and events to Ireland and 57 conferences worth at least €28 million to the economy have been secured for future years.
The conferences will take place at venues across the country, and will attract over 19,000 international delegates.
Business Tourism is currently worth at least €760 million to the Irish economy and supports 22,000 jobs.
Fáilte Ireland is working on growing the sector during the next six years to bring the value of business tourism to the Irish economy over the €1 billion mark.
Every business delegate is worth in the region of €1,600 to the economy which is three times more than the average leisure tourist.
The National Tourism Development Authority has identified Business Tourism as a priority sector as it helps businesses prepare for Brexit.
It will focus on growing business tourism in the regions outside Dublin by supporting Regional Convention Bureaux in Shannon, Cork, Kerry and Galway.
Fáilte Ireland is aiming to win conferences worth €31m for locations outside Dublin this year, a 15% increase on last year.
Some of the conferences secured by Fáilte Ireland in January include a major CrossFit competition, the Union of Aerospace Insurers, the World Ballroom Championships and the Third Global Soil Biodiversity Conference.
Fáilte Ireland CEO Paul Kelly said:
“There is significant potential for future growth in the Business Tourism space. 2019 is off to a strong start and we will be actively seeking out every opportunity to secure more business for Ireland.
I am particularly pleased about the Irish Up with People Alumni meeting for Ennis - Business Tourism has major potential regionally and we will be focused on driving more conferences and events to the regions to ensure we maximise the returns from this lucrative market. Last year was a record year for tourism with the sector generating €7.8billion in revenue and supporting 260,000 jobs.
Head of Commercial Development at Fáilte Ireland, Paul Mockler added:
“Ireland stands out in the international marketplace as a top Business Tourism destination thanks to its amazing hospitality, ease of access, world-class venues and leading industries.