IAAT Conference 2019



Ireland’s Association for Adventure Tourism (IAAT) will host our 2019 conference on Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st November in Charleville Park Hotel, Co. Cork.  This year’s event is with the support of official event partner Cork County Council, and in conjunction with Munster Vales and Ballyhoura Development.

DAY 1 will offer delegates the opportunity to experience a range of activities in the Munster Vales region (FULL ITINERARY HERE) with dinner, entertainment and a networking event that evening.

DAY 2 schedule is as follows:
8.00: AGM (Members only)

9.00: Registration at hotel reception

9.45: Opening Address from Rob Rankin – Chairman, IAAT

10.00: Welcome from Cllr Pat Hayes (Cork County Council) and Mairead Winters (Munster Vales)

10.15: Panel Discussion: INSURANCE – The Insurance Landscape for 2020 and beyond
Panelists: Peter Boland (Alliance for Insurance Reform), Harry Thompson (Worldwide), Brendan O’Connell (RDJ Solicitors), Derek Binchy (Fota Adventure)

11.00: Eoghan O’Mara Walsh – CEO, ITIC (Irish Tourism Industry Confederation)

11.20: Networking (with tea/coffee)

11.40: Key Note: Mike O’Shea – Adventurer & Businessman

12.10: Panel Discussion: PR/MARKETING – Getting Your Story Told at Home and Abroad
Panelists: Sharon Plunkett (Plunkett PR), Róisín Finlay (Outsider Magazine), Yvonne Gordon (Journalist), Marie Brouder (Brouder Marketing)

13.00: Lunch in hotel’s Greenfinch Restaurant (buffet style)

14.00: Paul Kelly (CEO, Fáilte Ireland)

14.20: Panel Discussion: GUIDE MANAGEMENT & STANDARDS for Adventure Tourism
Panelists: Tony Wright (Sport Ireland), Jim Kennedy (Atlantic Sea Kayaking), Trevor Fisher (Tollymore National Outdoor Centre), Jane Carney (Mountaineering Ireland)

15:00: Breakout Session Option 1: ‘Accessing Public Funding’
            Breakout Session Option 2: ‘Financial Planning for Seasonal Businesses’

15.45: Networking (with tea/coffee)

16:00: Michael Lennon – President, Irish Hotels Federation

16.20: Ciara Myburgh – EcoTourism Ireland
Margaret Atalla – Deebert House Hotel

16.40: Key Note: Jim Bonney – Adventurer & Motivational speaker

17.10: Closing Address: Maurice Whelan, Incoming Chairman, IAAT

17.20: Conference ends

The Charleville Park Hotel also have discounted rates for delegates attending (quote ‘IAAT Conference’ on the phone 063-33700).


IAAT Chairman Rob Rankin commented:

“We are delighted to bring this year’s conference to Munster Vales in County Cork.  This is our second year holding the Conference and, on the back of the success of our inaugural event in Mullingar last December, we look forward to delivering another two days of genuine benefit to all delegates attending.  If you are involved in Adventure/Activity tourism in any capacity, we strongly recommend coming along.”

Cllr. Christopher O’Sullivan, Mayor of County Cork added:

“Cork County Council is proud to be the Official Event Partner and Main Sponsor of the Conference.  Adventure Tourism is estimated to be valued at €1.2 billion and is one of the fastest growing and most exciting sectors within the Irish tourism industry. North Cork has a strong outdoor activity offering right in the heart of Munster Vales – a tourism destination linking the counties of Cork, Waterford, Tipperary & Limerick. It is an ideal location to host the event, providing a unique platform to showcase Munster Vales to a very focused audience of adventure professionals.  I heartily encourage those travelling to Charleville for the conference to take advantage of the day 1 option fam visits and really immerse themselves with the adventure and beauty of Munster Vales.”

Fiona Monaghan, Head of Activities at Fáilte Ireland, said:

“Our vision is for Ireland to be recognised internationally as a world-class, year-round activity destination. Activity tourism can make a significant contribution to Ireland’s economic and social development and also help spread tourism to every region. We look forward to the Ireland’s Association for Adventure Tourism’s conference and working with activity providers to secure continued growth in adventure tourism.”

Supported by Fáilte Ireland, Ireland’s Association for Adventure Tourism is an independent representative association for the adventure tourism sector on the island of Ireland and the IAAT aims to work with adventure tourism operators to develop the sector in a sustainable and responsible manner.

For further information or updates, please email IAAT CEO Brendan Kenny (brendan.kenny@iaat.ie).

The 2018 Conference was a fantastic success with very positive delegate feedback and we now look forward to even greater numbers this year. To review the 2018 line-up, please click HERE.