The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - By SI­MON BROUDER

MORE than 600 of Europe’s top travel so­cial in­flu­encers – who have a com­bined reach of over 380 mil­lion travel fans – de­scended on Kil­lar­ney last week to at­tend the an­nual TBEX Europe con­fer­ence.

The event – which was held at the INEC in Kil­lar­ney from Tues­day to Thursday last week – is the largest an­nual gath­er­ing of travel blog­gers, writ­ers, con­tent cre­ators and so­cial me­dia-savvy travel in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als in Europe.

As well as at­tend­ing the TBEX con­fer­ence, most of the highly in­flu­en­tial group – many of whom are en­joy­ing their first trip to Ire­land – will spend around two weeks ex­plor­ing the rest of Kerry and Ire­land.

While the del­e­gates were in Kil­lar­ney, Fáilte Ire­land used the op­por­tu­nity to show­case Kerry’s ma­jor vis­i­tor ex­pe­ri­ence brands by bringing hun­dreds of these in­flu­encers on be­spoke fact-find­ing trips.

Fáilte Ire­land worked in part­ner­ship with the Kerry Con­ven­tion Bureau to pre­pare 12 one day itin­er­ar­ies de­signed to show­case sig­na­ture ex­pe­ri­ences and des­ti­na­tions through­out the Kerry re­gion to the at­tend­ing blog­gers and in­flu­encers.

Pro­vid­ing a com­pre­hen­sive mix of cul­ture, his­tory, ac­tive ad­ven­ture and gas­tro­nomic ex­pe­ri­ences, the one day tours took in key des­ti­na­tions in­clud­ing Kil­lar­ney, Din­gle, Lis­towel, Tralee, Sneem and Ken­mare.

With the sup­port of Kil­lar­ney Cham­ber, a num­ber of lo­cally based Kil­lar­ney day ex­pe­ri­ences were or­gan­ised for the del­e­gates.

These in­cluded vis­its to the newly opened Kil­lar­ney House and Gardens, pho­tog­ra­phy work­shops, guided walks and cy­cles through Kil­lar­ney National Park, Ir­ish danc­ing lessons and an Ir­ish drinks demon­stra­tion.

On Mon­day, Oc­to­ber 2 – the eve of the con­fer­ence – Kil­lar­ney threw open its doors to the del­e­gates for a night of cul­ture and craic. Shops, restau­rants and bars of­fered TBEX spe­cials, brew­ing com­pany tours and whiskey master-classes, and the streets were filled with en­ter­tain­ment and cul­tural ex­pe­ri­ences.

All pho­tos by Va­lerie O’Sul­li­van

Din­gle based ad­ven­turer and ex­plorer Mike O’Shea who was one of the key note speak­ers at the TBEX 2017 con­fer­ence held at the INEC in Kil­lar­ney last week.

Noel John McLough­lin, Mar­ket­ing Direc­tor, Fáilte Ire­land; Rachell Hill, Rachells Travel En­ter­prise; Daragh Anglim, Head of Mar­ket­ing, Fáilte Ire­land; and key note speaker Bret Love at TBEX 2017.

Carn­ina and Mike Collins and Han­nah Hayes were among the del­e­gates at the TBEX con­fer­ence in Kil­lar­ney

Natalie DiS­cala with her hus­band Johnny, their son Jack Jet and De­clan Mur­phy at the TBEX con­fer­ence at the INEC

Travel blog­gers Veron­ica On­drejech, Mags Nixon and Pam Roberts at the TBEX con­fer­ence.

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