Killarney town wins lucrative adventure travel world summit

Mike Buckley and his son Johnny in the driving seat at Kerry Coaches and Buckley's Tours in Killarney.
Mike Buckley and his son Johnny in the driving seat at Kerry Coaches and Buckley's Tours in Killarney.

Kevin Hughes

THIS year it's Namibia, last year it was Lucerne in Switzerland and now Killarney can join the elite list - venues for the Adventure Travel Trade Association's annual world summit.

Announced by Kerry Convention Bureau, next year's summit will travel to Killarney and it's a major boost for the town with almost 700 major players in the adventure tourism industry due in town.

Indeed, the last two world summits have sold out over two months in advance, so Killarney will be one of the hottest tickets on the adventure tourism calendar, copper fastening it as one of world travel's 'must do' destinations.

The financial rewards are significant too, with Fáilte Ireland revealing that the sector was worth €773m to Irish tourism in 2012, a figure that is sure to rise significantly following next year's conference. The direct economic impact from hosting such a global summit for Killarney and local economy has been estimated at almost €1.5m, although this will multiply when future marketing is taken into consideration.

Based in Seattle, the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) is the global organisation for adventure and activity tourism and the four day summit takes place from October 6-9, 2014.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar labelled the news "a prestigious win for Ireland", providing it with a high profile marketing opportunity to influence significant tourism decision-makers from around the world.

Amongst the 650-plus decision-makers will be tour operators, media, agents and tourism agencies who will gather to discuss, debate and network.

ATTA President Shannon Stowell said that Ireland had not only been incredible ambassadors for the global adventure tourism community but a collaborative approach and dedication to sustainable economic development made the 2014 Adventure Travel World Summit decision an easy one.

"This is another great achievement for Killarney and credit is due to all of the Killarney businesses that work so closely together to make such bids a success," Mike Buckley (pictured) of Killarney Chamber has stated, adding: "The ATTA conference will put Killarney and Ireland on the world stage and will act as a catalyst for the future of adventure tourism in our town, county and the whole of Ireland".

Mike and current President of Killarney Chamber, Johnny McGuire, have urged all businesses in Killarney to support the event to ensure that the experience delegates have is a memorable one for all the right reasons.

"This includes the great Killarney welcome we are renowned for, great value and variety of cultural and activity experiences," Johnny added.


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