Key buyers and decision makers from Southern Europe’s most popular tourist destinations visited Ireland last weekend to view the specialist technology solutions Irish companies have to offer the travel sector.
To promote further export growth for Irish travel technology firms, Enterprise Ireland organised a major inward visit by 26 managers from leading hotel chains and online travel agents from Portugal, Spain, Italy and Turkey and the emerging Dubai market. The initiative was an opportunity for Ireland’s specialised technology companies active in areas such as online booking/revenue management, mobile technology, event planning software, international payments and customer tracking services to meet with key buyers from these tourism markets.
Over the course of the visit, the buyers took more than 150 one-to-one meetings with 19 innovative Irish technology companies such as Avvio, Openjaw, Cartrawler, Realex, Bookassist and MTT. These companies have demonstrated strong jobs growth in the past three years – employment has increased 46% in the crisis years 2009 to 2011 to over 450 people at these Enterprise Ireland supported companies.
Kevin Sherry, Head of International Sales and Partnering at Enterprise Ireland, said: “Italy, Spain, Portugal and Turkey rank in the top 10 of the world’s most popular tourist destinations and the Italian, Spanish, Turkish and Dubai tourism industries are all showing positive growth trends despite the global economic downturn. Total visitor numbers to these markets was over 120 million in 2010.
“Ireland has a wealth of leading, innovative technologies to support Southern Europe’s intensive tourist industry. Ireland has developed a solid global reputation in the IT for travel sector for developing niche, customer-focussed solutions. This visit by 26 senior representatives of key markets demonstrates their keen interest in learning more about Irish technologies to support their expanding markets. Enabling Irish companies to meet these key market and decision makers generated new business opportunities and growth of jobs for the Irish companies operating in this growing industry.”