A group of influential tour operators from China visited the island of Ireland last week, before attending a B2B workshop in Belfast. Carefully selected and invited here by Tourism Ireland, the visiting operators were here to experience at first-hand what the island of Ireland has to offer for Chinese holidaymakers. The aim of the trip was to encourage the operators to feature Ireland as a new destination in their programmes or to extend the Ireland content of their existing programmes.
The operators’ action-packed itinerary, designed by Fáilte Ireland and NITB, included visits to counties Cork, Kerry, Clare, Wicklow and Antrim as well as Dublin and Belfast. Susan Li, Tourism Ireland China, said:“Tourism Ireland is delighted to bring these influential tour operators to the island of Ireland, so they can experience for themselves the high standard of the tourism product on offer for Chinese holidaymakers. The majority of our 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. Tourism Ireland in China is working hard to raise the profile of the island of Ireland as a premier holiday destination, highlighting the visa waiver scheme introduced by the Irish Government earlier this year, which has made it easier for tourists from emerging tourism markets to visit Ireland.”
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.