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Irish Country Hotels 'Meet the Buyer' event, 27 April 2015

Irish Country Hotels search for additional local suppliers as it partners with Guaranteed Irish to host ‘Meet the Buyer’ event

Buyers from 24 hotels with a combined shopping list worth €3 million commit to finding new Irish suppliers

Ireland’s largest portfolio of family owned and managed hotels - Irish Country Hotels – is on the hunt for new suppliers of everything from food to furniture as it strengthens its commitment to buying locally.  Buyers from each of the group’s 24 hotels are extending an invitation to companies the length and breadth of Ireland to pitch their goods and services to them at a ‘Meet the Buyer’ event being held on Monday 27th April 2015 at Fitzgeralds Woodlands House Hotel, Adare jointly hosted by Irish Country Hotels and Guaranteed Irish.

Shopping List worth €3m

The group, which already spends almost €30 million annually with Irish suppliers, has a shopping list worth some €3 million in additional orders.  In particular, the group’s members are looking for artisan food and drink items, toiletries, flowers, garden supplies, candles, furniture, cleaning products, wall coverings, fabric and textiles, glassware and pottery, gift shop items and a host of other hotel related goods and services.  

As well as the opportunity to meet with buyers, Irish Country Hotels will also be running a masterclass for small business owners on how to pitch their product or service to companies in the hospitality industry with a view to helping rural micro-businesses in particular to grow and ultimately generate new employment.  According to Irish Country Hotels brand chairperson, Paul Gallagher, buying Irish makes sense on a number of levels.  “When people come to Ireland on a short-break or holiday and stay in an Irish Country Hotel, they expect to experience something that is authentically Irish.  Buying locally is part and parcel of that authenticity and it has not gone unnoticed, particularly amongst our guests from the USA and Canada.  And, being able to market ourselves as Guaranteed Irish gives us a competitive edge, especially overseas.” he said.  “As a group, Irish Country Hotels is committed to supporting businesses close to each of our 24 member properties.  Collectively, we spend some €30 million a year with Irish suppliers.  Almost two-thirds of that spend in on food and drink products alone.  And, when we say local, we really mean local as half of our suppliers are located within 20 kms of the hotels they supply. “Ireland boasts some of the world’s finest produce and workmanship.  Being able to showcase that on our menus and throughout our hotels is something we do with pride and is something that our guests truly appreciate.

 “The tourism sector as a whole is worth something in the order of €4.3 billion and is a huge driver of economic prosperity right across Ireland, especially in rural communities where the ripple effect of buying locally is far reaching.  As a group, we are anxious to play our part which is why we created this event with Guaranteed Irish.  By sharing some of our expertise, we hope that we can contribute towards the growth of multiple small businesses across Ireland.”  With more than 1,100 hotel rooms Irish Country Hotels was set up alongside its sister portfolio Manor House Hotels as a member-owned non-profit organisation in 1986 to market small independent family run properties overseas.  During 2014, Irish Country Hotels and Manor House Hotels invested €1m in sales and marketing activities overseas and €9m in capital projects across the two portfolios resulting in 150 new jobs, many of which are located in rural communities heavily dependent on tourism for employment opportunities.  Any company supplying goods and services of relevance to the hotel industry and that meets the criteria for becoming a member of Guaranteed Irish is welcome to attend the Meet the Buyer event on Monday 27th April 2015 at Fitzgeralds Woodlands House Hotel, Adare. 

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