Consultants examine ways to attract business tourism

Clare and Limerick professionals join Medical Conference Ambassador Programme in Adare Manor

Medical professionals from across Clare and Limerick gathered in Adare Manor at the weekend to examine how the region could garner some of the lucrative €500 million in spending generated annually in Ireland by Business Tourism.

Minister for Finance, Mr. Michael Noonan, T.D., joined Doctors and Consultants from Limerick and Clare hospitals to launch a Medical Ambassadors Programme designed to promote the Midwest and the wider Shannon Region as a location for investment due to its capacity to host large national and international conferences.

The event was hosted by the Shannon Region Conference and Sports Bureau which attracts major international conferences, incentives and sports events worth an estimated €5 million to the Region each year.

Addressing delegates at the weekend conference, Minister Noonan outlined the potential role that can be played by medical professionals in delivering new business tourism opportunities for the Region.

Minister Noonan stated: “The Bureau works with over 300 Ambassadors across sport, business, academia and culture. With the Midwest fast becoming the destination of choice for foreign direct investment in the Medical and Pharma sectors therefore, it is no surprise that the Bureau has decided to launch a Medical Conference Ambassador Programme to further leverage the business opportunities from these sectors.”

“Now more than ever it is extremely important there we use our unquestionable influence abroad to attract new business. I look forward to seeing the beneficial results of this new Programme,” the Minister added.

Tony Brazil, Bureau chairperson described the weekend event as “a valuable opportunity for medical professionals based in the region to play their part in consolidating the Midwest’s growing status as a location for large scale association conferences.”

Mr. Brazil explained: “Irish tourism has had a turbulent 10 years with the banking crisis, the Ash Cloud crisis and increased competition from abroad. However, this Region has managed to become the best performing region outside of Dublin in its ability to attract international association conferences. This is a testament to the wonderful conference facilities that this region’s hotels, venues and academic institutions have to offer.”

“Medical conferences covering many medical specialties and professional groups present significant potential for Limerick and Clare. We estimate that each international conference delegate gives a direct financial spend of €1,300 to the economy, so we warmly welcome the support shown by representatives of the local medical sector whose ambassadorial role in bringing conferences and events to the Region will greatly support the efforts of the Shannon Region Conference and Sports Bureau,” he added.

Hospitals represented at the weekend conference included St John’s, Ennis General, University College, Limerick Maternity and Croom.

The Shannon Region Conference and Sports Bureau is a public/private partnership set up in 2013 to bring conference and event business to the Shannon Region. Partners include Fáilte Ireland, Shannon Airport, Limerick Chamber of Commerce, Limerick Local Authorities, Clare County Council, Irish Hotels Federation Shannon Branch, University of Limerick, LIT and Mary Immaculate College. The Shannon Bureau has a host of Patrons; which include Sir Terry Wogan, Gerard Hartmann, Des O’Malley and Michael O’Leary. More from www.conferenceandsportsbureau.com.

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