Conference 2018

IAAT Annual Conference 2018

Location:           Mullingar Park Hotel

Dates:                 5th & 6th December 2018

Day 1    Wednesday 5th December – Adventure Networking

10:00    Day of Adventure – Exploring the Royal Canal and Old Rail Trail by Foot and Bike

20:00    Networking evening – Irish Adventure Film Festival – The best of 2018, Courtyard Bar,                                 Mullingar Park Hotel

Day 2    Thursday 6th December – Conference

09:00 Registration

09:45 Opening Address

Rob Rankin, Chairman, IAAT

10:00  Welcome

Una Doris, Tourism Officer, Westmeath County Council

10:20  Fáilte Ireland

Fiona Monaghan, Head of Activities, Fáilte Ireland

10:40  An Industry Strategy for Growth to 2025

Eoghan O Mara Walsh, CEO, ITIC

11:00  Leave no trace training courses

Maura Lyons, Manager, Leave No Trace Ireland

11:20  Coffee Break

11:40  Keynote – Bobby Kerr

Entrepreneur, Broadcaster, former Chairman of Insomnia Coffee Chain, Presenter on NewstalkFM and was ‘Dragons Den, Presenter & Co-Producer of Along Home Shores

12:20  Panel 1 – On the beaten track, where to now?

  • Cormac Mc Donnell, Trails office
  • Mary Muley, Upland Network Coordinator at The Heritage Council
  • Eoin Hogan, RRO County Clare
  • Sharon Lavin, Waterways Ireland

13:00  Lunch

14:00  “Leaving No Trace in the Irish Countryside: Effecting Behavioural Change of Recreationists”

Noel Doyle, PhD Candidate in the Institute of Technology Tralee

14:20  Panel 2 Guiding an Adventure, are you qualified enough?

  • Jim Kennedy – Owner & Guide, Atlantic Sea Kayaking
  • EI travel Group
  • Eleonore Conroy – Programme co-ordinator, Outdoor Adventure Management – Shackleton Course, CDCFE
  • Brian Ward, Galway Roscommon ETB & Irish Sailing Tutor

14:50  Insurance – A mutual approach for Ireland

Martin Devaney, Risk & Insurance Consultant, Regis Mutual Management Ltd

15:10  Panel 3 Unlocking the funds & supports to grow your business

  • Catherine Darby, Business Advisor, LEO Westmeath
  • Bernie Leavy, LEADER Projects Officer, Westmeath Community Development
  • Marion O’Connor, Enterprise and Hospitality Supports team, Fáilte Ireland
  • Colin Wolfe, Guide & Owner, Connemara Hidden Escapes

15:30  Coffee Break

15:45  Tourism Ireland Global Marketing 2019

Mark Henry, Central Marketing Director, Tourism Ireland

16:05  Panel 4 Are you selling what they are buying?

  • Roisin Finlay, Editor, Outsider Magazine
  • Emily Ross, Founder, InkVine Communications
  • Mark Henry, Central Marketing Director, Tourism Ireland
  • Maurice Whelan, Director, Ireland Walk Hike Bike
  • Cillian Murphy, Cillian Murphy consulting

16:40  Sustaining Success, Fáilte Ireland plans for 2019

Paul Kelly, CEO, Fáilte Ireland

17:00 Closing Message

17:15  Conference Ends

This is a provisional programme and is subject to change, but we will endeavour to only change it for the better.

This event is brought to you in association with Visit Westmeath

Visit Westmeath: Discover your Next Adventure!

For an adventure you won’t forget, visit Westmeath, nestled in the very centre of Ireland, where Ireland’s Ancient East meets Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands. Known as the ‘Lake County’ and traversed by the Royal Canal and iconic river Shannon, opportunities to get on the water are in abundance, and popular activities include kayaking, boat tours, cruising, canoeing and stand-up paddle boarding. With an astounding 89km of off-road greenway, Westmeath is ideal for a cycling challenge or a leisurely pedal through the serene midlands landscape, away from the bustle and traffic. The Old Rail Trail Greenway traces the historic Midlands Great Western Railway, from Mullingar to Athlone, past restored station houses and under pretty stone arched bridges. The Royal Canal Greenway, almost encircles Mullingar Town and offers a truly tranquil experience. For a gentle stroll or a long distance hike, a variety of way-marked walking trails offer the chance to explore our ancient lands, native woodlands and lakeshore havens. For more information, visit, or find us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter!