As the world prepares for post-pandemic travel, many business tourism planners are starting to make plans for the future. In Ireland, our venues, local suppliers, and services are ready to roll out the red carpet and offer first-class options for every type of business traveller when it's safe to resume international travel. From castles
and country manors
to quaint boutique hotels and unusual retreats
, Ireland has something to offer the most discerning of delegates.
And then there's the food. Ireland has become a culinary destination
known for fresh ingredients
, organic delights and chefs who understand how to turn local produce into sumptuous feasts.
In 2020 Galway has had the honour of becoming European Capital of Culture
, further enhancing its 2018 designation as a European Region of Gastronomy
. This West of Ireland gem of a city and county offers the perfect combination of culture, music, art and food — all served up with unique Irish charm.
Here are five reasons why Galway is the destination of choice for conferences, meetings, corporate events and incentive experiences that require a spectacular culinary offering that is second to none.
Galway is known as the festival capital of Ireland; one of its greatest is surely the legendary Galway International Oysters and Seafood Festival. While it took a break in 2020 due to the international health crisis, it aims to return in all its glory in September 2021. A fixture in the global foodie calendar since 1954, this festival is a treat for fans of all things fishy.
Oysters are the headline act of course, but this celebration of the sea's bounty is a great excuse to try the local catch while sipping on Guinness and soaking up the atmosphere. Hosted in September every year, festival highlights range from oyster shucking competitions to food demonstrations, with plenty of opportunities to indulge.
Even if you can't make it to the festival itself, there are plenty of bars and restaurants in the region that specialise in oysters all year round, so your guests can still sample an authentic flavour of Galway.
Oysters from Galway
With views over the bountiful Wild Atlantic Way and a reputation for producing some of the finest smoked fish in the world, a visit to the Connemara Smokehouse is essential while enjoying this scenic area. For over 40 years, the Roberts family has been curing and smoking salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel and herring in the old fashioned, time-honoured way.
Take guests on a tour of the factory and let them sample mouth-watering fish, fresh from "Old Smokey", the traditional kiln. Let the scenery, scents, and of course, the taste of this famous Irish flavour enchant — though guests may need to increase their baggage allowances to take home all the goodies they purchase.
Graham Roberts from Connemara Smokehouse
Follow the trail
No matter where you wander in Galway City or county, your nose will lead you to wonderful food experiences; why not let a professional guide help your guests locate the true treasures of the culinary scene? Galway Food Tours offers daytime and evening tours, trails that combine arthouse cinema and cycling, and for dessert, a sweet tooth tour. All this food tasting is thirsty work of course, but there's refreshment on offer at their popular whiskey tour.
Cheese tasting at Galway Farmers' Market
Forage for food
For a truly organic and natural experience, guests will enjoy sourcing their suppers on a foraging excursion. Go berry-picking with Black River Wild Foods or search for seaweed with Connemara Wild Escapes and Mungo Murphy's Seaweed Co; alternatively find a floral feast with Crann Og Eco Farm. Ingredients found, let the foraging experts help your guests create a tasty masterpiece using their bounty.
Fresh seaweed washed up on the Wild Atlantic Way
From traditional fare to food with flare, the chefs of Galway's gastro-bars and restaurants are ready to produce some of the finest food in Ireland. Whether you are looking for Michelin-starred fine dining at Aniar or Loam or something more rustic like Ard Bia at Nimmos, Galway has you covered.
Fine dining in Galway
Like Irish culture and charm, delicious food is found around almost every corner of Ireland. If you're eager to lay the foundations for a business tourism event that surpasses all expectations, get in touch with the Meet in Ireland team today; they'll help you put together a menu of gastronomic delights, luxury accommodation, world-class venues and unforgettable experiences.