Meitheal brings together 420 Irish tourism businesses

At the Meitheal in Killarney, 420 Irish tourism businesses will this week pitch to 200 international buyers.

Running since 1975, Meitheal is Fáilte Ireland’s flagship trade event.

The event is organised in conjunction with Tourism Ireland to enable Irish tourism businesses to sell the best of Ireland to top international tourism buyers.

“Each international buyer here at Meitheal represents tens of thousands of possible visitors”

Having taken place virtually in 2020 and 2021, the return of this in-person event after a two-year hiatus will be hugely important for the recovery of the tourism sector.

Recovery of the Irish tourism sector

This week at the INEC in Killarney, more than 420 Irish tourism businesses will pitch to over 200 international buyers and tour operators from more than 19 countries and markets including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Norway, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, USA and UK and USA based Online Travel Agents.

The firms will be showcasing the best of what they offer with the prize aim of being scheduled on the itineraries of the global tour operators and it’s expected deals worth millions of euro to the Irish economy will be signed over the next two days.

“Trade events such as Meitheal will be hugely important for the recovery of the tourism sector and the significant number of international buyers attending shows the pent-up demand that exists,” said Tourism Minister Catherine Martin, TD.

“As a Government, we have invested heavily in Ireland’s tourism offering over many years and, for a small island, we have a huge amount to offer from world-class scenery, hospitality, activities, attractions, culture, heritage and food. It is fantastic to see so many businesses at Meitheal this year to showcase the richness of our tourism offering to these international buyers and tour operators.”

The international buyers were brought on several fact-finding tours across the country over the last week, ahead of attending Meitheal.

These bespoke itineraries, featuring tourism experiences from across Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s Ancient East, and Dublin, were designed by Fáilte Ireland with international buyers needs in mind to give them a first-hand experience of what holidaymakers can expect to see and do while in Ireland.

Speaking about the importance of the event to the Irish tourism industry, Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland, said: “Each international buyer here at Meitheal represents tens of thousands of possible visitors. The opportunity to influence their travel itineraries for 2023 and beyond is invaluable and will be hugely important for tourism and hospitality businesses, communities, and destination Ireland as we work towards recovery.  

“We have continued to work closely with the tourism industry over the last two years to develop Ireland’s tourism offering and ensure a strong pipeline of exciting tourism attractions, activities and experiences to attract visitors once international travel re-opened. The international buyers and tour operators visiting Ireland and attending Meitheal this week will see first-hand what it is that sets Ireland apart as an outstanding visitor destination, and the countless reasons to sell Ireland to their clients.”

John Kennedy
Award-winning editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.