Failte Ireland plans drive to lure visitors for business and 'luxury'
Wealthy international travellers seeking luxury foreign trips, as well as business delegates from France, Germany and elsewhere, are among those being targeted in a major new marketing push by Failte Ireland.
The agency said that while the UK and North America are performing well for business travel and events, "there has been limited success from the German and French markets".
Failte Ireland, whose chief executive is Paul Kelly, is hiring a lead generation and representation specialist and also said it wants to grow the "top end" of luxury travel to Ireland, targeting those individuals with millions of dollars in liquid assets.
It said that representation will potentially be required in the United States, Canada, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Austria, as well as Benelux and Scandinavia.
"Other markets including the Middle East, China and Australia may also be targeted following comprehensive reviews of the potential for business events to Ireland from these markets," it added.
In 2017, Failte Ireland set an ambitious target of increasing the value of the business tourism sector to Ireland by 40pc to €1bn by 2025.
"The focus of Failte Ireland's luxury strategy will be to grow the top end of luxury travel," it added.
That will include rich individuals with liquid assets of between $1m and $5m, and ultra-rich individuals with liquid assets of more than $5m, it noted.
It said that to achieve its "ambitious targets", it needs to increase resources in mature and emerging markets.
"Failte Ireland are currently developing a luxury travel strategy to grow this very lucrative sector to Ireland," it said.
"The strategy to drive luxury travel growth to Ireland will be delivered by both Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland," it added.
Ireland already attracts high-profile, lucrative business events such as two major conferences for the international aviation sector held in Dublin every January, as well as a plethora of smaller-value business gatherings. The two aviation conferences alone are estimated by PwC to have contributed €9m to the economy this year.
Earlier this year, Failte Ireland said that 57 conferences worth at least €28m to the economy have been secured for future years with the support of its business tourism team.
"According to global trends, both business travel and spend is on the rise and Ireland will capitalise on this by continued and increased investment," Failte Ireland has told firms interested in securing the lead-generation role.
It's targeting events with at least 100 delegates and a minimum spend, excluding flights, of €100,000.
The tourism organisation is also keen to boost the level of business tourism across Ireland.
Failte Ireland currently uses an international conference researcher based in Britain, and also works with a lead-generation specialist in the United States.
It has stressed that lead generation involves securing immediate business for Ireland.
"To date, we have not proactively targeted northern and southern Europe from a business tourism perspective, but our research indicates that they both have potential," added the State agency.