Over 30,000 visitors attended the first ever Into the West Expo of food, tourism and enterprise, as part of the permanent tsb Ideal Home Show, which took place in the RDS Simmonscourt pavillion over the weekend.
The West of Ireland showcase, which was sponsored by Údarás na Gaeltachta and supported by Bord Bia and the Local Enterprise Offices of the West of Ireland, promoted 70 businesses from the western seabord – ranging from Donegal to the most westerly tip of Cork.
The event organisers, Meas Media, are planning to make Into the West an annual occurrence and have begun discussions for next year.
Breandán Ó hEaghra, from Meas Media said: “The event was a runaway success for our exhibitors. One seasoned exhibitor from the OPW even informed us that she had given away more promotional material at this event than she had throughout the enormously successful Ploughing Championships! It was clear from visitor reaction that there is a great affinity with the West of Ireland and this event gives the Dublin public an opportunity to avail of the Western market on their own doorstep.”
The Expo also included talks and musical performances throughout the weekend. Head of the EU Commission’s Digital Agenda, Mr. Gerard Santucci, flew from Brussels to address the attendance regarding the vital necessity to promote digital initiatives for the future development of Ireland’s rural west coast.
The event organisers will announce dates for next year’s event in the coming weeks and will afford an even greater amount of businesses the opportunity to showcase in the capital.