Ireland’s Association for Adventure Tourism Conference

A ‘must-attend’ for anyone involved or interested in adventure tourism, the 2019 conference of Ireland’s Association for Adventure Tourism (IAAT) took place on Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 November in Charleville Park Hotel, Co Cork.

Ireland’s Association for Adventure Tourism (IAAT) announced a fantastic line-up of guest speakers for its 2019 conference which will take place on Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st November in Charleville, Co. Cork.

The conference focused on presenting an industry-led programme for 2020, with an emphasis on industry insights, networking and the sharing of ideas in the beautiful surrounds of the Munster Vales & Ballyhoura Country. 2019 event was with the support of Official Event Partner Cork County Council, and in conjunction with Munster Vales and Ballyhoura Development.

The first day of the conference offered delegates the opportunity to experience the Ballyhoura Country experience within Munster Vales via a range of activities in the region. They had the choice of an ‘Adventure Option’ or a ‘Leisure Option’ trip. The adventure option included mountain biking at the Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Trails, lunch at Longueville House and activities at Ballyhass Lakes. The leisure option included visits to Lough Gur Heritage Centre and recently re-opened Doneraile Court and Park, with lunch at Cafe Townhouse in Doneraile. Following dinner that evening, a networking event was held at the Charleville Park Hotel, giving delegates opportunity to learn about local producers, businesses and attractions.

The second day featured a series of talks and discussions from industry leaders. The keynote speech will be delivered by Mike O’Shea - Adventurer, Businessman and Consultant. Mike has recently successfully completed crossings of the Southern Ice Cap on Kilimanjaro, North Patagonian Icecap and also walked the complete length of frozen Lake Baikal, the world’s largest lake. He has also worked on Star Wars, Mission Impossible and the new James Bond movie.

Jim Bonney - ex-Marine, Adventurer and Motivational Speaker – told his inspirational story for the second keynote speech.

There were also speeches from the CEO of Fáilte Ireland Paul Kelly and the President of the Irish Hotels Federation Michael Lennon, along with Breakout sessions on 'Accessing Public Funding' and 'Financial Planning for seasonal businesses - Brexit & beyond'.

Panel discussions took place throughout the day on topics including ‘The Insurance landscape for 2020 and beyond’ which covered what's currently happening in the sector, information on the long term aims for reform and some practical advice on what businesses can do themselves. Other panel discussions include ‘PR/Marketing: 'Getting your story told at home and abroad' and 'Guides Management & Standards for Adventure Tourism'.