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Published on : Friday, January 22, 2016
Three individuals, who have had a significant impact on international conferencing in Ireland, were singled out with special awards at the ceremony. The Conference Ambassador of the Year Award was presented to Brian Stapleton, Managing Director of Periploi Aviation, for his significant contribution to Ireland’s business tourism sector. Brian has been instrumental in delivering a total of seven International Air Transport Association (IATA) conferences to Dublin valued at €5.6m to Irish economy, with another five future conferences in the pipeline with an estimated value of €5.4m.
The candidate selected for Outstanding Contribution to Business Tourism during the Gathering was Dr. Pearse Lyons, Founder and President of Alltech, who chose to host eight international Alltech business events in Ireland during 2013. During that year of The Gathering, Pearse brought a total of 3,000 international delegates to Ireland.
Also honoured for his Outstanding Contribution to Business Tourism Industry was Matthew Ryan, Director of the Grand Hotel in Malahide and Marine Hotel in Sutton. Matthew has chaired the Business Tourism Working Group since it’s inception, a key Fáilte Ireland group of business tourism industry leaders, since 2007. The Business Tourism Working Group is the collective voice for business tourism where industry stakeholders provide vital input for the implementation of Fáilte Ireland’s business tourism strategy for Ireland.
Fáilte Ireland’s Conference Ambassador Programme was developed to support individuals deliver international conferences to Ireland. The programme provides relevant impartial assistance and financial support to anyone seeking to bring an international conference to Ireland, from the initial bidding stage all the way through to the marketing and promotion of the event (see more on Fáilte Ireland’s Conference Ambassador Programme in notes to editor).
Speaking at the event, Fáilte Ireland CEO, Shaun Quinn emphasised –
“More than half of all international conferences in Dublin would not have been won without Conference Ambassadors. Therefore, we are recognising them today not only for their significant contribution to the local economy but also for the part they have played in building Ireland’s reputation as a compelling and attractive destination to do business.
“Last year was a very successful year with Fáilte Ireland supporting international conferences and events worth a total of €128m and bringing 91,000 international delegates to our shores. This year, we are already pushing harder to win even more conferences and we will invest €5m in the sector this year with to target €140m worth of business and deliver 100,000 future delegates to our shores.”
In 2015 Fáilte Ireland’s Conference Ambassador Programme successfully recruited and supported 139 Irish conference ambassadors, each representing a specific international rotating conference relative to their individual field of expertise. The target events of these ambassadors represent an estimated economic impact of €105m and could potentially deliver an additional 75,000 international delegates to Ireland up to the year 2024. In 2016, Fáilte Ireland aims to mobilise 145 new ambassadors through its conference ambassador programme to generate an 8% increase in revenue. Indeed, many potential future ambassadors were in attendance at the Awards ceremony this evening.
Each business tourism delegate that comes to Ireland is worth approximately €1400, twice as much as the average leisure tourist. The international conferences delivered to Dublin in recent years were varied and from across many different disciplines. To illustrate, these included:
• the 2014 International Association of Floral Artists World Show (5,500 international delegates);
• the 2012 Conference of the International Bar Association (4,500 international delegates);
• the 2014 European Society of Paediatric Endocrinology Conference (3,500 international delegates);
• and the 2014 One Young World Summit (1,600 international delegates).
Accepting his special award, as Conference Ambassador of the Year, Brian Stapleton, Managing Director of Periploi Aviation said:
“I am delighted to be the inaugural recipient of the Conference Ambassador of the Year Award and am incredibly proud of how Ireland has competed against stiff international competition to host these conferences, and bring these aviation business leaders to Ireland where they have enjoyed our unique culture and personality.
“While hosting these conferences we have seen many great friendships renewed; memories created and opportunities for business being done in Ireland, all of which benefits our economy and makes being a Conference Ambassador so worthwhile.
“I could not have done it alone and must also acknowledge everyone – individuals, government agencies such as Fáilte Ireland, and companies who supported me in winning the various bids and who worked tirelessly in delivering outstanding service and experience to the thousands of international delegates during their time in Ireland.
“I would encourage anyone who is influential to use it and become a Conference Ambassador while it has its challenges it is incredibly rewarding to see the international delegates coming to our country and having a great time here. Be bold and brave go, out there and tell the world how good we are at delivery business conferences.”