Guest speakers put through their paces by RTÉ’s Miriam O’Callaghan

A MAJOR two-day tourism forum in Killarney at the weekend featured several high-profile and influential guest speakers and it created great interest and lively debating points within the industry.

Business interests from across the country attended the AIB Let’s Talk Tourism event, which was organised by the Kerry branch of the Irish Hotels Federation, SKAL Republic of Ireland and Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce.

Chaired by broadcaster Miriam O’Callaghan, the forum explored and examined topics such as Brexit and its impact on tourism, the future of tourism in Ireland, international trends, tourism policy and the development of rural tourism.

Events on Friday were based in the five-star Muckross Park Hotel in Killarney with in excess of 20 guest speakers contributing to the debate. They included Trinity College Professor of Finance, Brian Lucey, Dalata Hotel Group chief Pat McCann, Irish Hotels’ Federation President, Joe Dolan, Irish Tourist Industry Confederation boss Eoghan O’Mara Walsh, MEP Sean Kelly, Kerry TDs Michael Healy-Rae and Brendan Griffin and Chief Executive of the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation, Eoghan O’Mara Walsh.

A business networking dinner was held that evening in the Brehon Hotel in Killarney and it featured informative interviews with special guests and Kerry GAA legends Darragh, Tomás and Marc Ó Sé who were put through their paces by Donie O’Brien from Killarney.

On the Saturday the forum transferred to Dingle where the progress made in the town in terms of tourism was explored prior to A Taste of Kerry lunch at which Bridgestone Guide author John McKenna was the keynote speaker.

The social itinerary of the conference included the gala black tie Kerry IHF Christmas Ball at the five-star Muckross Park Hotel on Saturday night.