Significant tourism boost as 700 of the world’s top adventure specialists arrive in Ireland

3rd October, 2014

Adventure travel market worth €852 million and growing

Irish tourism will receive a significant boost this weekend with the arrival of the world’s top adventure specialists for the Adventure Travel World Summit 2014 (ATWS) which begins on Monday (6th October). Ireland is hosting the high profile event for the first time ever and it presents an opportunity to sell the country to the most influential players within one of tourism’s fastest growing sectors.


Some of the expected 700 international delegates have already begun to arrive into Ireland to take part in pre-summit “adventures” (tailored tours to showcase the best Ireland can offer) ensuring that no opportunity to impress delegates is being missed and giving tourism businesses across the country an opportunity to appeal to the world’s top experts in this sector.


The direct economic impact for the Irish economy from hosting the ATTA’s global summit will be almost €1m, along with the significant marketing, industry education and global networking value it will also provide. The global world adventure travel market is estimated to be worth almost $90 billion and in Ireland alone the sector is worth €852 million. The profile of the Summit and the activities which take place over the next week will greatly strengthen Ireland’s hand as it seeks to grow revenue and jobs in this area.

Welcoming delegates Paschal Donohoe, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport stressed the importance of hosting such a global event in Killarney –

“As an industry, we have been working hard to promote Ireland as an outdoor adventure destination so the decision by the Adventure Travel Trade Association to hold its conference here in Killarney is a real boost. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to promote Ireland to travellers all around the world who want an active outdoors break. I would urge everyone in the sector here in Ireland to play their part in ensuring that these influential delegates really do have an experience to remember.”


The timing of the Summit is particularly fortuitous for Ireland following hot on the heels of the recent launch of the Wild Atlantic Way. The Fáilte Ireland initiative is particularly well suited to visitors who are looking for outdoor pursuits or activities. Speaking today Shaun Quinn, CEO Fáilte Ireland said –

“This is big – big for tourism, big for the Wild Atlantic Way and big for Kerry. Ireland is very proud to host this prestigious event at a time when adventure tourism is high on our agenda and integral to growing visitor numbers on the Wild Atlantic way.”


“It is an incredible coup for Ireland, and a huge mark of approval from the leaders of the global adventure trade, that our country has been chosen as a setting for the summit and I think that this very much reflects the fact that Ireland – while long recognised for its friendly people, its heritage and its culture – is increasingly also now being recognised as a destination with the assets that can deliver unique adventure experiences and compelling offers to visitors who love the great outdoors.”


To ensure that all delegates are given a warm Irish Fáilte and really get a taste of what Ireland can offer, a number of events have been organised in the run up to conference proceedings. These include:

  • Killarney Welcomes the delegates – from 1-6.00pm on Sunday October 5th, there will be a carnival atmosphere on Scott Street in Killarney to welcome the ATWS delegates. A street festival is being organised by the Local Authority including a special parade and ‘dancing at the crossroads’ event takes place at from 5pm to 6pm which will lead delegates towards the Market Square in town, where they will subsequently attend one of the conference receptions organised.
  • The Day of Adventure – on Monday October 6th all delegates will have an opportunity to enjoy a tailored and memorable adventure exploring the breath taking scenery of Kerry, supported by Fáilte Ireland and local providers.
  • Ireland’s Opening Night – Venue Ross Castle, a 15th century tower on the edge of Lough Leane, in Killarney National Park, has been chosen for the official Irish Opening event on Monday evening (6th October).

The ATWS is organised by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) and speaking before his arrival to Ireland later this week, Chris Doyle Executive Director-Europe with the ATTA said –

“Failte Ireland, Ireland’s travel community and the 2014 ATWS Steering Committee in Killarney have stepped up strategically and practically in preparing to host and conduct business with 700 delegates from 66 countries representing some of the most influential adventure travel companies and organizations worldwide.

“The manner in which this year’s delegates have responded leading up to the Summit – with eagerness and genuine interest to learn more about Ireland’s adventure potential and readiness – bodes well for a productive week together.”