Business tourism climbs to ‘65% of 2019 activity levels’

AIPCO Hall of Fame award winner Patrick Delaney, managing partner SoolNua pictured with Colette Duggan, Chair of AIPCO and Minister Martin at AIPCO’s annual Business Tourism Conference at Carton House in County Kildare, which was officially opened by Minister Martin. (Photo: Alan Rowlette)

As we enter Q2 of 2022, business activity levels up to 65% of that seen pre-pandemic are being recorded by members of the Association of Irish Professional Conference Organisers (AIPCO).

The group announced the figure as members gathered for their tenth annual Business Tourism Conference at Carton House in County Kildare last Friday, where Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, opened the event.

180 delegates from businesses across the country gathered to discuss issues affecting the industry under the main theme of ‘Re-Evolution: Reimagine, Reconnect and Revitalise’.

AIPCO members had been delivering over 175 conferences a year, attracting more than 45,000 delegates and contributing €54 million towards the overall business tourism value of €750 million to the Irish economy up to early 2020.

Since then, the group has advocated for government support as members worked to withstand the economic shock of the pandemic.

Addressing delegates, Minister Martin said: “We are very much looking forward to welcoming back business delegates and I understand there is a lot of interest in Ireland as a host destination.  With our infrastructure, key economic drivers, destination appeal and accessibility, there’s no better place to meet and do business.

“Business tourism is a highly specialised and high-yielding sector – generating almost three times more revenue than leisure tourists”.