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Dublin hits conference big league

DUBLIN has jumped nine places in a key table of international conference destinations.

The news comes as the city welcomes hundreds of delegates to a five-day conference for top medical professionals.

The 16th International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders is taking place at the Convention Centre, right, until Thursday.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny officially opened the conference at the weekend. It is being attended by up to 5,000 delegates and is taking place in Dublin for the first time.

Among those attending was writer Shay Healy, who has had Parkinson's for eight years and who addressed the 800 delegates at the opening. Failte Ireland also welcomed the news that Ireland and Dublin have moved up the ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) rankings for international conference destinations.

At number 33, Ireland has moved up four places, while in the city destination rankings, it has jumped nine places to 23.

The tourism authority will be investing €3.7m in the business tourism sector this year, including funding for a wide range of supports available to potential conference ambassadors.

Failte Ireland research shows nine in 10 overseas conference delegates registered a "very satisfied" rating for their experience of Ireland as a destination for international conferences and almost 85pc said that they would certainly recommend Ireland as a conference destination.

Almost half the international delegates were from mainland Europe, with one in five from North America.

Britain and Northern Ireland accounted for a quarter of international delegates.