A group of influential journalists from across China enjoyed a visit to Co Cork over the weekend, when they got to experience some of the top attractions of this part of Ireland. Representing six leading Chinese newspapers and magazines, with a combined circulation of almost seven million readers, the journalists were invited here by Tourism Ireland in Beijing to research some of Cork’s top attractions for feature stories they are writing about holidays around the island of Ireland.
The group, whose itinerary was put together by Fáilte Ireland, began their visit here with a visit to the English Market in Cork city, where they enjoyed a delicious brunch in the Farmgate Café, followed by a tour of the market with well-known food critic John McKenna. They also enjoyed a tour of Cork city. Their itinerary saw them continue to Blarney, where they enjoyed a spot of retail therapy at the Blarney Woollen Mills and a chance to kiss the Blarney Stone. They also enjoyed a guided tour of the whiskey distillery at Midleton.
Susan Li, Tourism Ireland China, said: “Visits such as this, with the ensuing extensive coverage for Cork and the island of Ireland, are a fantastic way of raising the profile of this part of Ireland in China. With the Irish Government’s recently announced visa waiver scheme making it easier for tourists from emerging economies to visit Ireland, the time is right to step up our promotion in markets like China. The Asia-Pacific region offers exciting possibilities for tourism to the island of Ireland in the medium- to long-term. The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has forecast that the Asia-Pacific region will be one of the fastest-growing regions for outbound travel in the next ten years.
“While we are working hard in the traditional markets of Great Britain and the US, Tourism Ireland is also very active right now in markets like China to raise the profile of the island of Ireland as a premier holiday and business tourism destination. Fact-finding visits and press coverage like this are an invaluable part of that marketing effort”.
Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 087-685 9027
Notes to Editors:
• Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
• Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 200,000 people.
• Approximately 6.7 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland in 2010, delivering revenue of approximately €3 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.discoverireland.com; there are 42 different websites, providing information in 14 different languages covering every continent. In 2010 discoverireland.com attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.