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President of Ireland to address Hospitality and Tourism Industry

President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins, tourism futurist Valentina Doorly, travel writer Pól O’Conghaile and Ireland’s industry experts to speak at upcoming IHI Hospitality and Tourism Professionals Day

Key focus on rebuilding business, megatrends defining the sector, and retention of talent

President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins, tourism futurist Valentina Doorly, travel writer Pól O’Conghaile and Ireland’s key industry experts will speak at the upcoming Hospitality and Tourism Professionals Day, organised by the Irish Hospitality Institute.

The event, which takes place virtually on 26th November 2020, will provide a platform for owners and managers to discuss the critical issues facing the industry, such as the retention of talent and rebuilding business, and it will also focus on the international megatrends that will define the sector in the future.   The aim is to provide support and solidarity at a critical time for the hospitality and tourism industry.

Decision makers from hotels, restaurants, attractions, tourism, travel and education, are invited to attend for free.

One of the panel sessions will be led by internationally renowned tourism futurist Valentina Doorly from The Future Cube, who will look at the megatrends shaping our world that will dictate the future of the tourism and hospitality industry, and how business models need to adapt to rebuild.

One of Ireland’s best-known travel writers, Pól O’Conghaile, will lead a second panel discussion on what 2021 will look like from a travel perspective and what it will mean for the industry.  The speakers will look at what makes for a good staycation experience in a Covid world, lessons learned from the last recession that are applicable now, and sustainability in the tourism industry.

Other key industry professionals will discuss topics that include, ‘Leadership through an Unstable Landscape’ and ‘What Next for Tourism & Hospitality Professionals- The Rebuild’.  

The sessions will address what 2021 will look like from a travel perspective and what it will mean for the industry; What makes for a good staycation experience in a Covid world; Lessons learned from the last recession that are applicable now; and Sustainability in the tourism industry.

Speakers include travel writer Pol O’Conghaile, Chair of ITIC Ruth Andrews, Director Sector Development at Failte Ireland Jenny De Saulles, President The Irish Hotels Federation Elaina Fitzgerald Kane, CEO of The Restaurants Association of Ireland Adrian Cummins, amongst other industry representatives who will share their insights.

The IHI is also honoured that President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins will close proceeding with keynote address to the industry.  President Higgins has been a strong supporter of the Irish hospitality sector, using his influence and meetings with other Heads of State to highlight the work of Irish enterprises and State bodies such as Tourism Ireland.

There will also be ample opportunities for virtual networking at the event, and on the day, the IHI will shine a light on the sector, which provides in excess of 250,000 jobs in Ireland.  A series of ‘Bringing Industry together’ videos will also showcase those working in hospitality and tourism on social media. 


Commenting on the event, President of the IHI and MD of The Innovate Room Oonagh Cremins FIHI, said “We are honoured to announce that President Michael D. Higgins will give a keynote address at our upcoming IHI Hospitality and Tourism Professionals Day.  The event will recognise and celebrate the commitment and passion of our hospitality professionals and educators, many of which are going through their most challenging year.

The online webinar is a must for anyone in the industry looking for strategic direction, advice and support. The key message on the day will be that we are all a community experiencing the same difficulties, but we need to focus on the future and rebuild from here.  Retention of talent is now also at a critical stage, with many of our colleagues changing careers because of a fear of the unknown, so we will address that in detail as retention will be key to the future recovery of our sector.”

The event is being run by the Irish Hospitality Institute, the professional body for managers in the hotel, tourism and catering industries in Ireland, collectively known as the hospitality industry.  

Supported by Failte Ireland, the event will welcome members from the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI), the Irish Hotels Federation (IHI), the Association of Visitor Experiences (AVEA), the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation (ITIC) and the schools of tourism/hospitality. 

To register for The Irish Hospitality and Tourism Professionals Day and for more on the Irish Hospitality Institute (IHI) see www.ihi.ie 

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