A group of business tourism decision-makers from China visited Clare and the West of Ireland on a fact-finding trip this week. Carefully selected and invited here by Tourism Ireland in Beijing, in conjunction with Fáilte Ireland, the group included senior representatives of Chinese companies who organise international conferences, meetings and large-scale incentive events overseas.
The group was here to find out more about the meeting facilities and accommodation on offer in Co Clare and Ireland, as well as the great experiences business delegates can enjoy here on the sidelines of their conference or meeting. Their itinerary, designed by Fáilte Ireland and Shannon Development, took them to some of the region’s top attractions, including the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher as well as Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. They also visited various hotels including The Lodge at Doonbeg and Dromoland Castle.
Susan Li, Tourism Ireland China, said:“With the Government’s recently announced tourist visa waiver scheme making it easier for tourists from emerging economies to visit Ireland, the time is right to step up promotion in markets in the Asia-Pacific region. 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 like this are an invaluable part of that marketing effort”.
Business Tourism is the most lucrative form of tourism, offering significant economic benefits. The visit of these senior business tourism decision-makers is part of Tourism Ireland’s annual programme of activity to grow business tourism from China and other key markets around the globe; highlighting ease of access, the great facilities and good value rates available for meetings and conferences here and getting the island of Ireland known for excellence in business support.
Li Jun, MICE magazine (front); Helen Chen, Tourism Ireland China (second from right); and other members of the business tourism group from China enjoyed a falconry display at Dromoland Castle with Jim Heniger and Dave Atkinson.
Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland t: 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 €3.1 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.