Dublin Hosts World SITE Conference
Fáilte Ireland welcomed over 400 incentive travel professionals from all over the world to Dublin for the SITE (Society of Incentive Travel Excellence) Global Conference 2022. Fáilte Ireland bid to host the three-day conference in 2019 and successfully competed against a host of other European cites. The conference, which ran from Wednesday to Friday, could generate €36 million for the Irish economy.
Incentive travel, where companies reward employees with trips abroad, is an extremely lucrative sector with delegates estimated to be worth 2-3 times the value of leisure visitors. SITE (Society of Incentive Travel Excellence) is the professional association for the global incentive travel industry, and by bringing this delegation to Dublin, the National Tourism Development Authority aims to drive tourism recovery and future proof Ireland’s market share of this sector of business tourism.
For the average destination, incentive travel makes up about 7% of the revenues that it derives from the business events sector. For Ireland, this percentage is much higher, reaching as much as 20% in some years.
As part of the conference, delegates took excursions to Howth and Airfield Estate and experienced gala dinners at Christ Church Cathedral, Guinness Storehouse, the Convention Centre Dublin and the Museum of Literature Ireland to enhance their knowledge of the tourism experiences and attractions on offer here and allow them to sample Ireland’s hospitality and welcome.
Commenting on the importance of bringing the conference to Ireland, Fáilte Ireland’s CEO Paul Kelly said:
"We were pleased to welcome the SITE Global Conference delegation to Dublin this week to experience first-hand what makes Ireland a world-class destination for incentive travel. Winning in-demand conferences such as this sends a strong international message that Ireland offers high-quality, diverse tourism experiences. Globally, Incentive Travel generates an annual spend of more than $78 billion, and its regional spread and seasonality makes it a perfect target for a destination like Ireland."
Kevin Edmunds, President, SITE 2022 added: "SITE is delighted to be back in Ireland again with over 470 members and friends. There’s always been a close relationship between Ireland and SITE going right back to the Society’s foundation in 1973 when Anne Wold Graham, an employee at the Irish Tourist Board in New York, became SITE’s first president. In 1991 SITE brought over 400 incentive travel professionals to Dublin for our annual conference. Since then, Ireland has always featured strongly as a favourite destination for organisers of incentive travel programmes, thanks to the ease of doing business here, the great hotels and resorts, the uniqueness of the experiences available to incentive qualifiers and, of course, the wonderful support of Fáilte Ireland."