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GTMC backs Ireland for hospitality boost

Travel management company, GTMC is backing Ireland’s hospitality industry to be a big winner as it brings its annual overseas conference to Co. Wicklow

Pictured:Sara Price account director – Cavendish Communications, William Hobbs head of investment strategy – Barclays, Niall Tracey director of marketing – Meet in Ireland and Steve Richards – political commentator

Travel management organisation GTMC is backing Ireland’s hospitality industry to be a big winner as it brings its annual overseas conference to Co. Wicklow.

The trade association – which represents business travel agents with a combined spend of more than £10 billion each year - will showcase the range of hotels and conferencing and meetings products available on the Emerald Isle at the historic Powerscourt Hotel Resort & Spa. It will also examine the booming economic outlook in Ireland.

One of the key sponsors of the conference is Meet in Ireland, the official meetings, incentives, conferences and events brand for Ireland, owned and managed by Fáilte Ireland.

Fáilte Ireland’s director of marketing, Niall Tracey, will be among a panel of experts discussing Brexit and other factors likely to affect the business community in the years to come.

Adrian Parkes, GTMC chief executive, said: “Coming to Ireland at such a key time in the Brexit negotiations seems particularly apt. The UK might be moving away from Europe, but business is very keen to maintain the strong links we have with Ireland.

“Our members arrange over 93 per cent of managed travel in the UK, from SMEs to global multinationals. Our hope is very much that industry continues to trade strongly with Ireland and that we see good growth in the volume of conference and event business in the Irish market.

"I am sure Meet In Ireland will be working hard to highlight the vast opportunities in the country for the MICE market, from large scale conference venues to exclusive hotels offering unique facilities and everything in between.”

Also speaking at the GTMC Conference, this year themed ‘Mind The Gap’, is Conference Partners International CEO Nicola McGrane, a leading figure in Ireland’s conferencing industry.

Niall Tracey, director of marketing, Meet in Ireland, said: “We cannot underestimate the importance of building on our links with Britain. The Irish hospitality industry relies heavily on business travellers and we have to demonstrate that we have the products executives want.

"Ireland can be rightly proud of its reputation for giving a warm welcome to visitors, and GTMC members can be assured that we will remain open for business despite the looming uncertainty of Brexit.”

Keynote speakers at the GTMC Conference are Dubliner Willie Walsh, chief executive of International Airlines Group, the parent company of Aer Lingus, British Airways and Iberia and Stephen Shurrock, Travelport’s executive vice president and chief commercial officer.

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