The ITIC Tourism Industry Conference 2023
In September 2023, the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation (ITIC) hosted its annual tourism conference. Drawing more than 300 delegates, the event emerged as a resounding success, offering a dynamic platform for industry leaders to converge and explore innovative insights in the world of tourism.
ITIC 2023 Tourism Conference – Big Impact, Small Footprint
Advantage were delighted to work with long standing client, the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation (ITIC) on a landmark tourism conference held in Sept 2023 attended by over 300 delegates.
The Conference featured prominent figures from the worlds of hospitality, politics, and entertainment including new Late Late Show host Patrick Kielty, former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, UN Special Advisor Anita Mendiratta, and Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin TD, among others.
Hosted by Journalist and Broadcaster Dearbhail McDonald, the event, titled ‘Tourism: Big Impact, Small Footprint,’ took place at Radisson Blu Hotel along the Shannon River in Athlone. ITIC showcased a new report HERE which outlines its vision of the tourism sector becoming a €15 billion annual industry by 2030.
Key highlights at the event include:
ITIC’s Chairperson, Elaina Fitzgerald Kane, emphasized tourism’s role as a regional economic powerhouse, providing jobs throughout the country
ITIC’s report includes 38 recommendations, projecting an annual contribution of €3.5 billion in direct tourism-related taxes to the exchequer
The report calls for a shift of tourism from the Media and Culture portfolio to the Enterprise Department, a 15% increase in tourism budgets, and Ireland becoming an R&D hub for sustainable aviation fuel. It also demands a plan from Government as to how their dependence on hotels and guesthouses for refugees will be lessened
Minister Catherine Martin said that the report would be considered as part of the National Tourism Policy to be published later this year
Patrick Kielty spoke on how we can use tourism as a force for good and how tourism had benefitted the island following the Good Friday Agreement
Following this theme former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern expressed concern at the ongoing political stalemate North of the border. He spoke about his memories of the 25 years since the Good Friday Agreement and how “peace must be normalised but needs to be guarded preciously.”
International guest Anita Mendiratta, a Special Advisor to the UNWTO, praised Ireland for its sustainability efforts and highlighted the €68 million Just Transition Fund for the Midlands as a game-changer for regenerative tourism
On the theme of sustainability, 250 cruisers on the Shannon will adopt Sustainable Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) in 2024, reducing their carbon footprint by 92%.
The Irish Tourism Industry Confederation (ITIC) selected Advantage DMC to manage and deliver the third annual ITIC conference, ‘Small Footprint – Big Impact’, which took place in September 2023.
ITIC had previously worked with Advantage on the first ITIC conference (virtual ‘broadcast’ delivery from UCD’s O’Reilly Hall), and our second conference (Croke Park, May 2022.) It is important, each year, to create a fresh look and feel for a conference, and we found Ronan and team open and engaged.
The ITIC conference is attended by leaders from right across the tourism sector including Government officials, representatives from Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland, and business owners and managers from all over Ireland. It is considered a ‘must attend’ event on the tourism calendar.
The Advantage team worked closely with the host venue (Radisson Blu Athlone) to deliver a seamless and smooth event, with attention paid to details such as local provenance, plant-based options, and food miles informing our menu choices. The highest quality AV installation was utilised to ensure the best possible delegate experience. Given the very high profile nature of the speakers – former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, Patrick Kielty during his first week as ‘Late Late Show Host’, UN Special Advisor Anita Mendiratta – a slick, professional event was essential. There was a definite ‘wow’ factor with stunning imagery on the LED backdrop, and specially-commissioned videos which interspersed the interviews and panel discussions. One delegate described it as ‘broadcast standard.’ Every opportunity to showcase the very best of Irish tourism and the Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands location was used.
It is a pleasure to work with a company as experienced as Advantage, who constantly seek to deliver outstanding events with memorably high quality standards. Actions, timelines and budgets were all delivered as promised, and the hands-on, unruffled approach of the team on the big day meant ITIC’s focus could be on the people on stage, and the delegates in the room.
Sponsored by Fáilte Ireland, Tourism Ireland, AIB, and Westmeath County Council, Advantage managed all services required for the conference including:
- Venue management
- Registration and payments on a dedicated and branded booking site
- Event collateral
- Event Production to include audio visuals, set, decor and lighting
- Production of specially commissioned Videos