Tourism organisations from across the island of Ireland took part in a tourism trade mission to China last week. The four-day trade mission, organised by Tourism Ireland’s China office, took in the cities of Shanghai and Beijing and involved a series of B2B workshops, networking events and media interviews for the participating Irish companies.
Over the four days, face-to-face meetings were conducted with more than 60 Chinese decision-makers – including leading travel agents and tour operators – to encourage them to include Ireland in their future holiday programmes and to recommend it as a destination of choice for their clients. The trade mission provided a very useful platform for the participating tourism companies from Ireland to showcase their product to the travel agents, who collectively produce more than 80% of Ireland’s tourism business from China. During their time in Shanghai and Beijing, the Irish companies were also interviewed by a number of influential Chinese travel writers.
Commenting on the longer-term potential of new and developing markets such as China for tourism to the island of Ireland, Susan Li, Tourism Ireland China, said: “The majority of Ireland’s overseas visitors are from the core markets of Great Britain, Mainland Europe and North America, and while this will continue, it is important that we expand our focus beyond these markets and look to the long-term opportunities presented by emerging tourism markets in Asia like China. The World Tourism Organisation forecasts that the Asia-Pacific region will be one of the fastest growing outbound regions for travel, expanding by +6.5% on average over the next 15 years. Trade missions such as this provide a good opportunity for our Irish partners to develop their business links and enhance their relationships with key decision-makers, helping to grow their tourism business from China.
“Tourism Ireland in China is working hard to raise the profile of the island of Ireland as a premier holiday destination. We are highlighting the visa waiver scheme introduced by the Government earlier this year, which has made it easier for tourists from emerging tourism markets to visit Ireland.”
The organisations involved in the Tourism Ireland trade mission to China were:
• Birr Castle
• Club Travel Ltd
• County Arms Hotel, Birr
• Custom Ireland
• Dublin Tourism
• Griffin Hotel Group
• Kildare Shopping Village
• Manor House Hotels & Irish Country Hotels
• Moloney & Kelly Travel
• Premier Travel
• The Ritz-Carlon, Co Wicklow
• The River Lee Hotel, Cork
• Stena Line
Tourism organisations from across the island of Ireland in Beijing, during Tourism Ireland’s 2011 tourism trade mission to China, with Susan Li, Tourism Ireland China (front row, fourth from left) and Jim Paul, Tourism Ireland’s head of Australia and developing markets (back row, right).
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.