The Irish Travel Agents Association confirmed that its 2017 conference will take place in Porto, Portugal, from 12th – 15th October 2017.
As first reported by Travel Extra, 150 travel professionals are expected to travel to Porto for the conference, where they will stay in the Solverde Spa & Wellness Hotel.
The conference meetings take place on Friday October 13th with a range of speakers and will discuss past and future travel trends, business successes, planning for the future and other issues facing the travel trade. There will be opportunities on Friday evening and Saturday to take in sightseeing tours. Pre-conference there will be a golf day on Thursday October 12th and an optional fam trip will be offered post conference on October 15th and 16th.
Cormac Meehan, President of the ITAA, commented, “with its fabulous weather, divine food and wine, and charismatic locals, it is easy to see why Portugal continues to be a top destination for Irish holidaymakers. As an important tourism partner, this conference gives our members the opportunity to discover more about this stunning country and to experience the beautiful and historic city of Porto.”
Antonio Padeira, Director of the Portuguese Tourist Board for UK and Ireland, commented, “Ireland has been the 3rd market with the biggest growth for Portugal since January to April 2017, with a 19.5% increase on guests until April 2017, only topped by Brazil and the US. This is a significant increase for a relatively small market like Ireland. This conference is an opportunity for Irish travel agents to explore the hidden gems and picturesque streets of Porto and get to know the fantastic food, excellent beaches, beautiful churches and the new contemporary buildings of architects like Siza, Souto de Moura or Koolhaas.”
Porto attractions include a UNESCO World Heritage site teeming with medieval townhouses, gothic palaces and baroque churches adorned with exquisitely handcrafted “Azulejos” tiles. It also boasts some of Europe’s most talked about contemporary architecture including the Rem Koolhaas designed Casada Musica , and the many architectural triumphs of award-winning Porto natives Eduardo Souto de Moura and Alvaro Siza, such as The Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art. Recent figures released by the Instituto Nacional de Estatisticas (Statistics Portugal) showed that Portugal is an increasingly popular destination for Irish holidaymakers with a 19.5pc increase in visits to the country in April 2017, when compared with the previous year. The regions of Porto and Northern Portugal have seen an increase in Irish guests of 68pc, making it an increasingly popular area amongst Irish travellers.