Congratulations to Catherine Reilly – Brendan Vacations


Catherine Reilly, Managing Director Brendan Vacations Ireland  and Past President of ITOA has recently completed 10 years service as board member of the Irish Tourism Authority, Failte Ireland.  Catherine was appointed to the board of Failte Ireland in July 2003, shortly after the formation of the new Authority in May 2003 and has been one of its longest serving members.

She was invited to remain on the board for a second term in 2007 and has represented the interests of the Irish tourism industry with dedication and unstinting commitment over that decade.

Gerry Nicholls, President ITOA congratulated Catherine saying “there has been many chapters written on Irish Tourism over the past decade, not to talk of turbulent time and ITOA has been very well served by our colleague and friend Catherine in her role on the board of Failte Ireland during that time.  We know that Catherine will continue to be a strong voice and advocate for our sector and indeed the tourism industry in the future.”

ITOA members joined the President in congratulating Catherine on a job well done and wishing her well in her continued endeavors for Brendan Vacations Ireland and her ongoing commitment to Irish Tourism.


Meitheal Had Added Advantage (ico) This Year


ITOA member, advantage ico, worked with the Trade Engagement team in Failte Ireland to organise  the networking events for Meitheal at the CCD and The Guinness Storehouse.

Failte Ireland appointed advantage ico after a competitive tender process. Services provided to the Failte Ireland Meitheal team included event management, venue selection and liaison, event production, props, décor, collateral, actors and entertainment.

Both events were very well received with the CCD event featuring the introduction of the Wild Atlantic Way by way of an exhibition of relevant product over pre-dinner drinks, video after dinner and an Irish choir to finish.

The Gathering at The Storehouse took participants on a journey from where the word Meitheal came from via stunning Irish food to contemporary performances from up and coming Irish acts, Perfect Friction and Hermitage Green finishing with a Ceili Mor in the Arrol Suite.

Ronan Flood, Managing Director advantage ico said “ we were delighted to win the tender to manage these prestigious and important international trade events organised annually by Failte Ireland.  Creating memorable and exciting experiences for the evening entertainment events is critical to the overall success of the Meitheal Workshops”.

Collaboration – The Key to Growing Business Tourism


Pictured at the Business Tourism Industry Briefing in the Aviva Stadium are Fiona O’Sullivan, Custom Ireland, Shaun Quinn, Failte Ireland and Kersten Pace, Westin Hotel.

A strong turnout of ITOA members active in Business Tourism attended the Business Tourism Industry Briefing in the Aviva Stadium.   Ireland is aiming to build on its position as a major destination in the incentive travel sector, where companies reward employees with trips abroad, and this will be a central focus for Fáilte Ireland’s Business Tourism Unit this year.

As it is felt that there is great potential for growth in the incentives space, Fáilte Ireland today announced details of a new top-level Incentive Innovation Group to focus on winning more incentive based business to Ireland.

Keith McCormack of Fáilte Ireland’s Business Tourism Unit, stressed that the incentive sector is an area of strategic importance and has the potential to generate significant revenue for the Irish economy.   The Incentive Innovation Group, with members of the industry on board, will now identify which countries present the biggest opportunities and what buyers we need to impress to get to those markets. Over the coming months the focus will be on looking at what we have, comparing it to our competitors and developing strategies unique to each market.

ITOA President Gerry Nicholls welcomed the announcement of the Incentive Innovation Group – “ITOA is delighted to see the implementation of this group and look forward to playing an active role with four ITOA member companies participating including Aspects of Ireland, A Touch of Ireland, Custom Ireland and Wallace Travel Group.  The combined experience and expertise that our members participating will bring, in collaborating with our industry colleagues on this group will we are sure deliver much needed insights and innovative thinking to revitalize the Incentive and Corporate Meeting offering that Ireland uniquely offers.”

In 2012 ITOA members handled almost 60,000 overseas business tourism visitors who spend €73 million in Ireland.