Business Summit Cork

Asia Business Summit Cork

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Day One Monday 24 June

Venue: MTU – Munster Technological University

08.30Registration and Networking
09.00Welcome Remarks and Opening Address
by Professor Maggie Cusack, President, Munster Technological University on The Role of Universities in Developing Regions as Sustainable Tourism Destinations

Tourism Industry Panel on The Return Of Chinese Tourism

  • Eoghan O’Mara Walsh, Chief Executive, Irish Tourism Industry Confederation
  • Zhang Li, Director CNTO China National Tourist Office London
  • Aisling McDermott, Manager Asia, Tourism Ireland
  • Catherine Flanagan, Chief Executive, AVEA Association of Visitor Experiences & Attractions
  • Seamus Heaney, Head of Visit Cork

Higher Education Panel on Creating Sustainable Tourism Leaders

  • Gemma Corrigan, Head of Policy and ESG Integration, Federated Hermes- former Lead, Sustainability, World Economic Forum
  • Mary Rose Stafford, Executive Head of School – Business, Computing & Humanities at Munster Technological University + Irish Academy of Hospitality & Tourism
  • Dr. Junyi Huang, Chinese Co-Director, Confucius Institute,Department of Asian Studies, University College Cork
  • Professor Patrick Paul Walsh, Vice President of Education and Director of the SDG Academy, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
11:30Coffee and Networking

A Conversation on The Role of China Ireland Twinning Partnerships in building business bridges through cultural and education exchanges and on shared commitment to responsible tourism as sustainable destinations.

  • H.E. He Xiangdong, Ambassador of China to Ireland
  • Senator Jerry Buttimer, Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann (Speaker of The Senate of Ireland)
12.30Key Address & Fireside chat with Michael McGrath TD, Irish Minister for Finance
13:00Closing Remarks by the Mayor of the County of Cork followed by Networking Lunch

Panel on The Future of Kinsale as an Iconic Seafood Tourism Destination
Chair: Pádraig Brennan, Food Lead, Asia Matters Panel: Sharon Corcoran, Director of Economic Development & Tourism, Cork County Council; Liam Edwards, Chairman, Kinsale Chamber of Tourism; Aisling McDermott, Manager Asia, Tourism Ireland; Ciaran Fitzgerald, Managing Director,The Blue Haven Collection; Rose Carroll, Head of Tourism, Cork County Council; Paul Carty, Tourism Consultant & former MD, Guinness Storehouse; Maud Black, Founder, Blacks Brewery & Distillery, Kinsale.

By Invitation

Venue: Kinsale Library, the Old Mill building which dates back to the late 1800s, re- purposed into a state-of- the-art library and cultural space.

17:00Evening Stakeholder Dinner with Speaker Senator Jerry Buttimer, Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann in Trident Hotel, Kinsale, County Cork

*Draft programme, subject to change


Asia Matters has hosted nine annual business summits in Cork in partnership with key stakeholders. 2024 is a special year celebrating 45 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Ireland on 22 June 1979. As
Cork is Ireland’s leading driver of city and regional twinning with China, The 10th Asia Matters Business Summit Cork with a focus on Tourism will highlight the unique Chinese – Irish partnerships which Cork has developed with Chinese peers.

Ireland is known as The Emerald Isle due to the beautiful greenery throughout the Island. As the world resets travel priorities, Ireland is an attractive European destination with world-renowned heritage sites, cultural festivals and friendly people.Cork is the biggest county in Ireland and is part of the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East. With a pedestrianised city and over 1000km of coastline, Cork is known as a Maritime Paradise and as an agricultural heartland, the Food Capital of Ireland. healthy, sustainable, community focused, iconic tourism destination at the Start of the Wild Atlantic Way.

Key tourism reports including from Tourism Economics and ETA suggests the impending return of Chinese tourists to Europe. 2024 figures are forecast to be 60-80% up on 2023 with anticipated return to full 2019 level in 2025

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