Representatives of nine leading business tourism companies based in Shanghai visited Ireland this week, as guests of Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Etihad Airways.
The group was made up of 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 around the world. They were here to find out about the wonderful meetings facilities and accommodation on offer in 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 Etihad Airways via Abu Dhabi to Dublin.
The group’s itinerary included time in Dublin, with site inspections of various conference facilities like The CCD, the RDS and the Aviva Stadium; Kildare and a visit to the Irish National Stud and Japanese Gardens; the Cliffs of Moher in Co Clare and a tour of Galway city; as well as Powerscourt House and Gardens in Co Wicklow.
Susan Li, Tourism Ireland China, said: “We are delighted that so many of these key business tourism decision-makers have taken the time to travel to Ireland, to experience at first-hand some of the world-class facilities on offer. The superb meetings, incentive and transport infrastructure, 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 Etihad to highlight ease of access to Ireland and the great value fares now available.”
2012 was a record year for visitor numbers from Ireland’s long-haul markets. And indications for 2013 are also positive; with Etihad’s recent announcement of a +35% increase in capacity on its service from Abu Dhabi to Dublin, which is in addition to the Emirates service from Dubai, the island of Ireland is now more accessible than ever before for visitors from long-haul markets like China.
Chinese business tourism buyers at the Irish National Stud and Japanese Gardens, Kildare, with Vicky Wu, Tourism Ireland (back, fifth right); Seán Colclough, Irish National Stud (back, left); and tour guide Nan Nan Pang (front, right).
Further media information:
Jasmine O’Brien, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 01-476 3425
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 2012, an estimated 7.27 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of approximately €3.51 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, currently rolling out in 11 different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world.
• ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ is Ireland’s biggest ever tourism initiative, consisting of a year-long programme of festivals, events and gatherings in every part of the country; Tourism Ireland has an extensive programme of promotions under way to highlight ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ around the world, working closely with the ‘Gathering’ project team.