In the next ten years, the business tourism industry is set to grow to €1.1 billion!

Connect17 is Ireland’s leading business tourism showcase that’ll take place at the RDS on 17th and 18th October, 2017.

By 2028, as Ireland grows more attractive on the global events-hosting stage, the business tourism industry could be worth as much as €1.1 billion and employ an additional 8,000 people.

Connect17 will show off Ireland’s event-hosting opportunities and hospitality companies to international and Irish business decision-makers. Over 200 suppliers, including hotels, venues, visitor attractions, event organisers, and technology and creative production companies, will have a presence at the event. Ireland’s towns, cities and counties will also have representatives at the regional exhibition stands.

Over 100 buyers from the US, Canada, UK and European markets, including business tourism gurus and international event organisers, will converge on the RDS on the 17-18 October for Connect17, Ireland’s business tourism showcase that sees the meeting and events industry all coming together under the one roof.

Business tourism, which employs 21,000 people in Ireland, was worth €715 million to the economy in 2016, up 7 percent on the previous year; major conferences and industry events attracted upwards of 1.3 million international delegates. Each delegate stayed an average of 5 days and spent €1,600, up one hundred euro on 2015 and two hundred on 2014.

This year, Connect17’s headline speakers include the award-winning Abigail Disney, CEO and President of Fork Films and great-niece of Walt Disney, and Gina London, Strategic Advisor at Fuzion Communications and former CNN anchor. Fáilte Ireland’s new CEO Paul Kelly will officially open the event.

The company behind Connect17, Conference Partners International, Ireland’s leading business events company, expects the event to generate €20 million in revenue for the economy via new deals between Irish and international businesses, and increased business tourism spend.

Commenting, Nicky McGrane, Connect17 founder and managing director of Conference Partners International, said, “Ireland is fast becoming a favourite location for international conferences and exhibitions. Business tourism is growing year-on-year, and delegates are staying longer and spending more. In the next decade, the industry could be worth over €1.1 billion and directly employ 27,000 people. This is great news for Ireland Inc, and that’s why it’s so important that business tourism companies seize the opportunity to loudly show off this growth potential.

“Connect17 is essentially an ‘Ireland showcase’. It’s a place for decision-makers to meet, learn from global experts, and be inspired by new ideas. The very best of what we have to offer as a country and event destination is on show, not just in terms of venues, but also the top catering, entertainment, transport, hospitality and accommodation businesses that help to turn a good event into a world-class one. For international companies and event organisers trying to get the full picture of Ireland, having all of this under one roof is truly unique.

“Connect16 was extremely successful: 3 out of 5 attendees committed to proposing Dublin as a destination for a future event. With more than two hundred suppliers, one hundred buyers and a stellar line-up of international speakers, this year’s event is sure to be unmissable.”

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