B & B IrelandWith online bookings up 62% and trade bookings up 26% on 2012, the B&B sector looks set to achieve a major increase in visitors for 2013. A B&B Ireland team of 12 from around the regions, is representing the island-wide body at the Meitheal 2013 event in Dublin’s RDS this week, which is set to attract about 300 tour operators from 18 countries around the world.

The B&B Ireland team aims to give tour operators “a taste of the real Irish B&B experience,” says acting chief executive Mary Doogan, “and to showcase the food, welcome and hospitality given to customers when they stay in a town, country or farmhouse home in Ireland.”

Ms Doogan says they have been delighted with the increase in bookings for the first quarter of 2013, and we are also pleased to have “more new members in Northern Ireland this year, which will meet the growing demand for breaks across the border.”

Meitheal – one of the biggest trade events in the Irish tourism calendar – is organised by Fáilte Ireland in conjunction with Tourism Ireland. The event is open to Fáilte Ireland approved operators, such as owners of approved B&Bs. Ballyshannon-based B&B Ireland, the largest promotional organisation for the B&B sector in Ireland, represented its 1,000 members at the event.

“Members from Donegal, Galway, Kilkenny, Limerick, Westmeath, Dublin and Cork have come to Meitheal to meet the international travel trade,” says Ms Doogan.

“B&Bs are now offering a wider range of activity holidays, such as walking, golf, adventure, Gaeltacht, farmstay, food lovers, angling, ancestry and eco-breaks. This allows customers to stay in rural Ireland when they take part in their chosen activity.” See www.bandbireland.com for details and bookings.