Ireland: A look back on 2015 and a glimpse of what’s to come in 2016…

8th Oct, 2015

The year of 2015 was a remarkable one for both Irish tourism and for Irish business, with 2016 promising so much more.

Ireland has emerged as a metropolitan, modern and technologically-advanced country, ideally located on the edge of Europe. Ireland’s workforce is young, intelligent and enthusiastic, being culturally, linguistically and socially diverse.  Ireland’s connectivity continues to grow, with new routes to and from the main international airports of Dublin, Belfast, Shannon, Cork and Knock announced regularly.  The number of visitors coming and returning to Ireland continues to grow, with 2015 expected to be the most popular year for Irish tourism ever. What better year than 2016 to visit Ireland and to share in the success of the Irish!

2015 was a year of Irish success.  Travel & Leisure magazine named three Irish cities (Dublin, Cork and Galway) among the friendliest in the world. Ashford Castle in Co. Mayo was named the best hotel in the world by the Huffington Post, the Titanic Belfast Museum was named “Best Group Visitor Attraction” at the European Travel Awards, Dublin’s Guinness Storehouse was named as “Europe’s leading tourist attraction” at the World Travel Awards, and the Convention Centre Dublin once again won the “Best Overseas Conference Venue” at the UK C&IT Excellence Awards. Meanwhile, the Wild Atlantic Way, a vast coastal route running along the Atlantic counties of Ireland, continued to inspire and astound those lucky enough to experience it. Ireland became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote. The economy grew by the fastest rate in Europe, as Ireland continued to invest in infrastructure and education.

Looking North, in May 2016, the Belfast Waterfront will add 4000m2, doubling the venue space available. Its recent success in securing the prestigious Routes Europe conference in 2017 was welcomed broadly, and bears testament to its excellence as a venue and location. Belfast is becoming more connected, with numerous new routes to European cities set to commence in 2016. Belfast will have 7500 bedrooms available by the end of 2017, along with continued expansion of conference venues. Of course, it is attractions such as the Titanic Quarter, St. George’s Market and the nearby Giant’s Causeway and the Gobbins Walk that make Belfast among the most desirable locations for any conference or event.

Dublin continues to gain a solid reputation as a centre of innovation and excellence. It is the home of the European headquarters of many of the tech-industry giants, including Google, Facebook and Twitter.  Dublin Airport serves 57 airlines, with 175 routes, and daily flights to all major UK and European cities, and the many government incentives and initiatives made available to conference organisers made Dublin the natural choice of hundreds of associations in 2015. Looking forward to next year, Dublin will be the centre of Irish centenary celebrations, meaning the eyes of the world will look upon this vibrant cultural centre. As an example, it was recently announced that Dublin will host the upcoming European Conference & Exhibition on Optical Communication in 2019 welcoming 5000 International delegates and 1000 Irish delegates.

Find out more from our dedicated Meet in Ireland team, who are on hand to help assist you with support and advice. Read more about their offering as well as the latest developments around Dublin’s business tourism products.

Wherever you choose to Meet in Ireland, you will find expert staff ready and waiting to help you deliver an event to remember.

Join us in Ireland in 2016, for another inspirational year.

For further information you can contact Danielle Neyts at Tourism Ireland ( or visit our website

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