IAAT Conference



The annual IAAT Adventure Tourism Conference takes place on Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24th of March 2022 in beautiful Sligo (rescheduled from December).

The main conference on the Thursday will feature industry leaders, inspiring keynote speakers, a practical workshop, topical panel discussions and lots of networking opportunities – all with a positive outlook for 2022 and beyond!


8.00am Registration (with refreshments)
9.15am Welcome from Brendan Kenny – CEO, IAAT
9.30am Paul Taylor – Cathaoirleach, Sligo CoCo
9.35am Anthony Gray – Sligo Tourism
9.45am Eoghan O’Mara Walsh – CEO, ITIC
10.10am INSURANCE PANEL – Securing the Future: Progress on Insurance for Adventure Tourism
Kevin O’Callaghan with Peter Boland (Alliance for Insurance Reform), Det Inspector Mel Smyth (GNECB), Declan Troy (Arachas), Bill Cremin (Cool Runnings Events)
11.10am <<< Tea/Coffee break >>>
11.30am KEYNOTE – Joan Mulloy, Solo Offshore Sailor
12.00pm Minister Catherine Martin
12.15pm Breakout Workshop: Marketing in post-Covid World (delivered by Brouder Marketing)
Networking opportunity for those not attending the workshop
1.00pm <<< Lunch >>>
2.00pm Paul Kelly – CEO, Fáilte Ireland
2.30pm Roisin Finlay – Sustainable Travel Ireland
2.50pm STANDARDS PANEL – Adventure Activities: Raising the Bar for 2022 and beyond
Kevin O’Callaghan with Fiona Ryder (Consultant), Declan Troy (Arachas), Sheena Dickson (Tourism Northern Ireland), Jim Kennedy (Atlantic Sea Kayaking)
3.45pm KEYNOTE – Andy Kirkpatrick, Mountaineer & Motivational Speaker
4.15pm Closing address – IAAT Chair Shane Young
4.20pm <<< Tea/Coffee available >>>



With thanks to our partners at Adventure Sligo, delegates have the option to partake in local adventure tourism activities:

  • Option 1: ‘Surf & Turf’ with a hike up Knocknarea followed by surfing in Strandhill (guide, transport & lunch included).
  • Option 2: ‘Chill on the Gill’ with an outdoor yoga walk and kayaking or sailing on Lough Gill (guide, transport & lunch included). ***Update – this option is now fully subscribed***

These activities will then be followed that evening by a local tourism & hospitality showcase with live entertainment and a networking event.

The 2021 IAAT Adventure Tourism Conference is supported by Sligo County Council and in conjunction with Sligo Tourism, Adventure Sligo, Sligo BID, Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland. Keynote speakers are kindly sponsored by Call of the Wild


Please email the IAAT Conference team to info@iaat.ie

The Sligo Park Hotel has heavily discounted rates for delegates attending – on a first-come first-served basis. Simply quote ‘IAAT Conference’ on the phone 071 9190 400 or when emailing sligoreservations@leehotels.com to receive the special IAAT conference rates (€89 single b&b / €99 double b&b).

As part of our focus on sustainability, we encourage delegates attending the conference to make their trip as carbon neutral as possible. Some simple tips include:  

    1. Marketing materials: If you are bringing marketing materials to the conference, please leave it at the designated areas and not in the main conference room. Aim to have a digital option where possible e.g. re-direct to a website or shared drive. Please also bring any materials with you that are not taken up by delegates.
    2. Travel: Where it is possible and safe to do so, please car pool with colleagues / delegates for your trip to Sligo. You can use website such as liftshare.com to coordinate this.
    3. Carbon offsetting: Consider neutralising your carbon footprint (due to attending the conference) by purchasing credible carbon offsets and other options through websites like sustainabletravelireland.ie and sustineo.ie/carbonoffsets

Sligo boasts a stunning, uninterrupted and wild coast along the Wild Atlantic Way and this attracts international surfers and adventure seekers all year-round. There are unlimited recreational opportunities: Benbulben, Knocknarea and the Ox Mountains provide breath-taking, well-marked routes for walkers; while there is an abundance of golf courses, scenic drives and cycling routes.



Tickets are limited and the Conference will take place in line with any public health guidelines in place at that time.

Please note that due to unforeseen circumstances, Nikki Bradley will no longer be able to speak at the conference. We look forward to welcoming Nikki at a future event.