Key speakers for Let’s Talk Tourism

All talk: At the launch of Let’s Talk Tourism were, from left, Mags O’Connor, AIB, (sponsor), Paul Kelly, Chief Executive, Failte Ireland, Niamh O’Shea, IHF Kerry, Paul Sherry, President, Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce and Moira Murrell, Chief Executive, Kerry County Council.
Picture: Don MacMonagle

A YOUNG third generation Killarney hotelier will share the stage with a renowned climate change specialist, civic leaders and tourism industry heads at a high-profile conference in Killarney next Friday.

Marcus Treacy, who is operations director in the Killarney Park and Ross Hotels, will speak on the sustainable agenda at the annual Let’s Talk Tourism: The National Tourism Forum in the Great Southern Hotel.

Having grown up in the hospitality industry, Marcus is a graduate of the Shannon College of Hotel Management. He previously worked in hotels in Geneva, New York and Dublin and with his family’s hotel properties bordering Killarney National Park, sustainability is a hugely important priority.

Keynote speakers: John Sweeney (top) and Marcus Treacy

Kerry County Council Chief Executive, Moira Murrell, will participate in a panel discussion along with John McGrillen, Tourism Northern Ireland; Jenny De Saulles, Fáilte Ireland; Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland and travel industry commentator Eoghan Corry.

Climate scientist, John Sweeney, who is Emeritus Professor in Maynooth University and has worked on climate change issues for almost 40 years, will deliver one of the keynote addresses at Let’s Talk Tourism.

He will give his views on the impact of teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion campaigners and whether there is any evidence of success from protests favoured by green campaigners.

Prof Sweeney, who is responsible for over 100 publications on climate change and related topics, will also examine if Ireland is implementing the correct policies and what measures should the tourism industry be considering to take advantage of opportunities and to negate the consequences of climate challenges.

The theme for this year’s one-day conference is Sustainability: The foundation for our future and delegates will put the spotlight on the domestic consumer market and emerging global trends, the island’s food offering and, of course, the business of Brexit.

Panel discussions will focus on the sustainable agenda and experts will offer practical, real-life examples of sustainable practices and their ensuing impact.

Other topics on the agenda this year include mega trends and future trends in tourism, the consumer sentiment amongst domestic tourists and the economics of sustainability.

The Let’s Talk Tourism moderator will be broadcaster Olivia O’Leary and the opening address will be given by Minister of State for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin.

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