Go Wild Magazine
Meet Ruth Andrews: Ceo At Avea
Chief Executive Officer at AVEA Association of Visitor Experience and Attractions
Ruth Andrews could never be accused of resting on her laurels, given the number of high-profile roles she holds in the Irish tourism industry.
The Wexford-born woman is chief executive of Incoming
Tour Operators Association Ireland (ITOA) and CEO of the Association of Visitor Experiences and Attractions (AVEA). She also took on chairmanship of the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation (ITIC) last year.
Then again, she reckons her destiny may have been mapped out all along as her parents both worked in the hotel industry. “It’s amazing how tourism gets into your blood system,” she says.
Having studied business and languages, Ruth spent seven years in the sales and marketing office of the Doyle
Hotel Group, followed by seven years working with the Great Southern Hotel group. She set up her own tourism marketing consultancy in 1998.
ITOA approached her to run its secretariat in 2006 on a part-time basis and she ultimately became its chief executive. The role with AVEA began in 2017 and chairmanship of ITIC commenced in 2019.
You can see why Ruth is so much in demand as there is a huge warmth and serenity about her and she radiates a positive, outward approach. This, one imagines, is what got her through the sad passing of her husband Ciarán in a road traffic accident in 2002, in which Ruth, then in her 30s, was also badly injured. Their daughter Claire was only a year old at the time and thankfully wasn’t with them when the accident occurred.
“It took me a year to recover physically and I’m very glad to be as mobile and able as I am,” says Ruth. “It wasn’t easy and we miss Ciaran but we still have the memories. His family, and my own, have been a great support to us.”
Ruth says that 18-year-old Claire is her “joy,” and she hopes that she will get to travel when she leaves school. They live in Enniskerry in Wicklow, and Ruth’s office is beside her house, which eliminates the daily commute.
She travels a lot for work, of course, and says that we are blessed with amazing villages and towns all around Ireland. “The place and the people are without doubt our core advantages over other destinations,” she says. “People come to see the green, clean environment, and our people are naturally disposed to be friendly, curious and interested in the people who come to experience what we have to offer.”