Securing the Rugby World Cup for Ireland would see sport tourism revenue from 2023 break the €1bn barrier – almost 20 times the current annual return from the sector, the upcoming Shannon Airport European Sport Tourism Summit will hear.
The event, which will be held in Thomond Park on May 14th and 15th, will hear from international experts how Ireland can exploit its huge potential in what is the fastest growing sector in global tourism and win bids for major global events like the Rugby World Cup.
Delegates will travel from as far afield as Korea and the US, with the majority drawn from across Ireland and will include representatives of local authorities, sports bodies, federations, clubs, charity organisations and communities here and abroad, will also hear about how cities, regions and even nations can grow their own major events and generate significant tourism revenue in the process.
Neil Pakey, CEO of Shannon Airport, which is sponsoring this year’s event, said that Ireland has the ability to grow the sector exponentially. “Ireland is tailor made for sport tourism. It has great year round capability with fantastic natural outdoor infrastructure for all types of sport and adventure and then there is the unique sense of Irish hospitality that tourists the world over come here for as well.
“Here on the western seaboard, the Wild Atlantic Way is, in particular, a playground for sport tourism. It is already a major international destination for surfers, walkers, anglers, and the links courses here are incredible. We’ve even developed our own product here at the airport with our midnight Runway Run.”
Registration for the event is now open, with delegates hearing from leading international experts, including Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation David Grevemburg, who is deemed one of the world’s leading authorities in sport tourism; Paul Smith, Head of City Delivery for England Rugby World Cup 2015; Mike Laflin of SportCal, a global leader in sport market intelligence and Richard Hills, Managing Director of Ryder Cup Europe.
This year’s event will also include the inaugural Shannon Group plc sponsored European Sport Tourism Awards, details on which will be announced shortly, as well as Industry Expert Sessions and the European Sport Tourism Academic Conference, both on Day Two. Full details, including registration, can be had on sporttourismsummit.ie.