Representatives of ten leading business tourism companies from Shanghai and Beijing visited Co Clare last week, as guests of Tourism Ireland and Emirates.
The group included decision-makers from Chinese companies involved in the MICE (meetings, incentive, conferences and events) industry who organise international conferences, meetings and large-scale incentive events, including Beijing Utour International Travel Service – the largest outbound travel services company in China. They were here to discover more about the meeting and conference 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. It was also an excellent opportunity to highlight the ease of access and connectivity between China and Ireland, with Emirates via Dubai to Dublin.
Following in the footsteps of Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping, who visited in February of this year, the group paid a visit to the Cliffs of Moher. Their itinerary also included lunch in Monks in Ballyvaughan, a site inspection of Bunratty Castle Hotel, a visit to Bunratty Folk Park and an evening at the medieval banquet at Bunratty. Arrangements for their itinerary were put in place by destination management company Custom Ireland.
Susan Li, Tourism Ireland China, said: “We are delighted that so many of these key business tourism decision-makers have taken the time to come to Co Clare and to Ireland, to experience at first-hand the world-class facilities on offer in this part of Ireland. The superb meetings, incentive and transport infrastructure on offer, coupled with the distinctive cultural experience, means the island of Ireland is an attractive destination for the business tourism sector in China. We are working closely with partners like Emirates to highlight ease of access to Ireland and the great value fares now available.”
Business tourism is the most lucrative form of tourism, with visitors travelling here for business purposes spending about 2.5 times more than the average visitor.
Chinese business tourism buyers with Vicky Wu, Tourism Ireland (third right), Joyce Fu, Emirates (fourth right) and Fiona O’Sullivan, Custom Ireland (second right), at the Cliffs of Moher.
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.
• In 2011, approximately 7.3 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland (+4% on 2010), delivering revenue of approximately €3.4 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 2011, discoverireland.com attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.