Leading tour operators from China recently enjoyed a two-day visit to Northern Ireland prior to attending a B2B tourism workshop in Limerick. Carefully selected and invited here by Tourism Ireland, the group experienced at first-hand some of the many things to see and do in Northern Ireland.
Following an itinerary devised by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, the group travelled along the scenic Causeway Coastal Route, stopping off at the Carrick-a–rede Rope Bridge before enjoying a tour of the famous Bushmills Distillery and a visit to the Giant’s Causeway. In Belfast, Titanic was very much the theme for the tour operators’ visit, as they took in the TITANICa exhibition at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum at Cultra, the Titanic Walking Tour and a visit to Titanic Belfast.
Susan Li, Tourism Ireland China, said: “Visits such as this are extremely important to showcase the many thing things to do and see in Northern Ireland, especially Belfast’s connection with Titanic and the renowned attractions on the Causeway Coast, like the Giant’s Causeway and the old Bushmills Distillery. With 2 million Chinese people visiting Europe each year, this is a significant emerging tourism market and an important one for Northern Ireland to tap into. Our aim is to increase awareness of Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland among these influential tour operators, to help secure a greater share of this tourism market of potential.”
Tourism Ireland’s busy programme of activity to grow tourism from China involves co-operative campaigns with airlines and influential tour operators to ensure Northern Ireland features prominently in itineraries and travel brochures; hosting familiarisation visits for Chinese travel agents and tour operators around Northern Ireland; as well as working closely with travel and lifestyle journalists, to ensure Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland feature extensively in the media in China.
Chinese tour operators at the Old Bushmills Distillery, Co Antrim, with Jenny Guan, Tourism Ireland (second row, second left), and Kim McMullan, Old Bushmills Distillery (far right).
For further information:
Elaine Moore/Clair Balmer, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 07766 527719
Notes to Editors:
• Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
• Tourism is responsible for in excess of 4.9% of GDP in Northern Ireland and supports approximately 40,000 jobs.
• In 2011, 1.5 million overseas visitors came to Northern Ireland (+4% on 2010), delivering revenue of £368 million.
• 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