The Adventure Travel World Summit – organised by Advantage PCO and Kerry Convention Bureau for the Adventure Travel Trade Association in Killarney last year (6th – 10th October 2014) – has won the Best Business Tourism Innovation Award in the inaugural Irish Tourism Industry Awards 2015.
The Adventure Travel World Summit was hosted by Ireland for the very first time in 2014. It brought in over 700 international delegates from 63 countries to the INEC Killarney and €2 million to the local economy. 1,261 pre-scheduled meetings took place during the week including media and marketing workshops.
Ronan Flood, Managing Director of professional conference organisers Advantage PCO, said: “The Adventure Travel World Summit was a text book case study for business tourism in Ireland. Failte Ireland bid for and won the event with the Kerry Convention Bureau (KCB) and Advantage PCO delivered a superb and incredibly memorable event working closely with both organisations.”
Delegates at the Adventure Travel World Summit also took part in 3-5 day pre-Summit adventure experiences along the recently launched Wild Atlantic Way, including escaping from Spike Island prison or exploring Ireland’s Wild West. Monday 6th October 2014 saw 700 delegates depart the INEC simultaneously on 31 different coaches for their Wild Atlantic Way experiences, the result of superb collaboration between the local adventure travel suppliers, Kerry Convention Bureau, Fáilte Ireland and Advantage PCO.
The opening evening for 750 people at Ross Castle was the first ever event of its kind to be held there. Fire artists, stilt walkers and dramatic drummers greeted guests to an atmospheric evening of Irish music and heritage as the sun set on the Lakes of Killarney and 100 VIPs were transported to Innisfallen Island to witness a special performance by Siamsa Tire. Another wow factor of the evening was The Wild Atlantic Way video being projected on to the castle walls.
Delegates were then coached directly to Jarvey’s Rest, the traditional Irish Pub within the Muckross Park Hotel, where nine zones showcased different aspects of Irish culture, from pint pulling and interactive Céilís, to learning the bodhrán and listening to a seánchaí, all the while enjoying the best of Irish food and drink.
Over 40 media from nine countries also attended the Summit and featured the event in their publications. The hashtag #2014ATWS generated 38 million impressions and a reach of 5.9 million over 30 days alone. National Geographic featured a 12-page spread on Ireland in March 2015, with Ross Castle gracing the front cover. A storytelling team captured the highlights of the event and the delegate experience in Ireland in various media, including the video:
The global world adventure travel market is worth some US$90 billion and despite difficult global economic times is growing by 17% annually.
The sector is worth €852 million in Ireland, which is ranked seventh among the top 10 developed countries in the world with the highest adventure tourism potential (International Adventure Tourism Development Index 2010).
The 2014 Summit generated upwards of €2 million for Killarney and greatly strengthened Ireland’s position as it seeks to increase revenue and jobs in the adventure travel sector.
The Irish Tourism Industry Awards showcase Ireland’s most successful and innovative tourism products, services and experiences and have been introduced by the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC), Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland. A total of 330 entries were received for the 12 Award categories, including nine for Best Business Tourism Innovation. The Awards were presented by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, on Friday 24th April 2015 at a Gala Dinner in Dublin.
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