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Top Activity and Adventure Experts Meet in Mayo
Ireland well positioned for Adventure and Activity as 2011 Annual Forum takes place in Westport
The Minister of State with responsibility for Tourism and Sport, Mr Michael Ring T.D., will tomorrow (Thursday 4th November) open the Annual Fáilte Ireland Adventure and Activity Forum in Westport.
The latest research shows that the overseas activity sector is worth €830 million and that those interested in activity pursuits spend on average 40% more during their trip than other visitors.
Furthermore, Fáilte Ireland believes that there is great potential for Ireland to build on in this particular market. Already, Ireland is ranked seventh amongst the top 10 developed countries in the world with the highest adventure tourism potential according to the international Adventure Tourism Development Index 2010. The report can be accessed here . (http://www.adventureindex.travel/docs/atdi_2010_report.pdf
Speaking today in the build up to the event, Minister Ring said –
“I am delighted to welcome this major event to Westport and Mayo. Events like this give a great boost to the local economy and I am particularly delighted that top adventure and activity experts from overseas will be coming here and will have an opportunity to sample what we have to offer in this part of Ireland when it comes to exciting things to see and do.
“We are all more health conscious now and activity breaks are no longer strictly the preserve of the young or adventurous. All our visitors from home or overseas now expect to be able to access a wide variety of things to do – whether it is French cyclists, British anglers or American hill-walkers, Ireland needs to be in a position to provide diversity and variety to cater for all ages and levels.”
The delegates attending the forum will hear from a variety of experts and presentations will include getting information on how other international destinations are investing and developing their outdoor activity experiences, what has worked, but also what has not worked! So that all involved in Ireland can adapt and offer the best experience possible – be that businesses, local authorities and community groups.
The latest market research for the sector will be examined and analysed by panels and participants where best ways of targeting new visitors in international markets will be identified
In addition this two day forum will centre on providing the best possible advice and tips for trading in 2012 as well as highlighting all the potential opportunities that may exist out there at present.
In a new addition to the format, a workshop event will take place on Friday with over 30 key overseas tour operators, who are interested in booking activity and adventure holidays in Ireland, meeting with members of the Irish tourism industry. Many of these operators are currently taking part in a series of trips around the country (pre and post forum), showcasing the best that Ireland has to offer for an activity packed holiday.
Fáilte Ireland CEO Shaun Quinn emphasised the role that adventure and activity pursuits can play to boost tourism –
“When visitors come to Ireland, they want to see our beautiful landscapes, mix with our friendly people and learn about our culture and history. But the important distinction for the 21st Century tourist is that they don’t want the traditional passive holiday.
“Instead, they want to do all the traditional holiday pursuits, but they also want to get stuck into a bit of horse riding, kayaking, cycling or even take a good leisurely walk. They want enjoyable experiences which they can enjoy together and they also want memorable moments which they can share on their return home. That is why the activity and adventure sector can play a key role in ensuring that we turn this year’s modest rally in tourism into a fully-fledged recovery”.
The adventure/activity sector has increased its share of the overall visitor market. In 2010 one in every four holiday visitors to Ireland engaged in some adventure/activity pursuit while in this country while the sector has maintained its level of revenues generated, performing far better than the overall tourism industry.
For further information please contact:
Catherine Whelan, Fáilte Ireland Communications Department
Tel: 01 8847181 / 087 6449572
Note for Editor
Fáilte Ireland, the national tourism development authority, was established in 2003 to guide and promote tourism as a leading indigenous component of the Irish economy.
The tourism and hospitality industry employs an estimated 170,000 people and generates almost €5 billion in revenue a year.
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