Fáilte Ireland’s Meitheal positions Ireland for reopening

Fáilte Ireland’s Meitheal is now in its 46th year and will pitch Ireland to 216 tourism buyers from 19 countries.

While a broad reopening of the Irish economy and the country’s many hotels, restaurants and pubs has yet to be decided, Fáilte Ireland is pressing ahead with selling Ireland to buyers from 19 countries.

Around 484 Irish tourism businesses from across the country will deliver 8,650 pitches to 216 top international tourism buyers from Australia to the US and every corner of the globe.

“Our Irish tourism businesses are acutely aware that it is vital to take the time to start reconnecting with international business contacts and securing business for next year and beyond”

Each of the buyers represent tens of thousands of possible customers and the opportunity to influence their travel itineraries for 2022 is invaluable.

Addressing the Hospitality and Tourism Expo this morning (13 Apri) Taoiseach Michael Martin, TD, signalled Irish hotels could be reopening in June but gave no timeline yet for the reopening of pubs and restaurants.

The ‘Meitheal’ to keep going

Now in its 46th year, Meitheal is Fáilte Ireland’s flagship trade event and most important event for the Irish tourism industry, which is organised in conjunction with Tourism Ireland.

For the second year running Meitheal will be a virtual event held over three days from 13-15th April to enable businesses in the Irish tourism industry to pitch to hugely influential international buyers from 19 countries.

They’ll be showcasing the best of what they offer with the prize aim of being scheduled on the itineraries of the global tour operators. More than 8,650 appointments or ‘pitch meetings’ are available and deals worth millions of euro to the Irish economy could be signed over the three days.

“Our Irish tourism businesses are acutely aware that it is vital to take the time to start reconnecting with international business contacts and securing business for next year and beyond,” said Fáilte Ireland CEO Paul Kelly.

“The opportunities gained at virtual Meitheal will be all important for tourism and hospitality businesses, communities, and destination Ireland, particularly for the years ahead when it is safe once again for international travel to return to Ireland. 

“We know that safety has become a key concern for tourists, particularly over the last year. Tourism businesses across Ireland have been taking all the necessary steps to ensure the safety of visitors is a top priority.

“We have introduced a Covid-19 Safety Charter so that businesses can showcase their commitment to following all recommended safety and cleaning guidelines and this is on the profiles of the Irish businesses meeting with overseas buyers over the next few days. When international travel can safely return, you can be assured that this commitment to visitor safety will remain steadfast.”

Read for rebound

“Events such as Meitheal are so important for our recovery and together we will be ready for that rebound,” said Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin, TD.

“I am really pleased to see the significant number of Irish businesses and overseas buyers from over 19 countries registered this year. This shows the pent-up demand that exists, now more than ever, for what Ireland has to offer as a country.

“As a Government, we have invested heavily in Ireland’s tourism offering over many years. Working with the trade and agencies such as Fáilte Ireland, we have created and developed significant ideas which we believe stand out and act as a magnet for visitors.

“For a small island, we have a huge amount to offer thanks to our world-class scenery, hospitality, activities, attractions, culture, heritage and food – the list is endless. The richness of our offering is testament to what a strong, collaborative and innovative tourism industry we have.”

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 13 April 2021