A delegation of Chinese investors and entrepreneurs is in Ireland this week, taking part in the very first official ‘Gathering’ of 2013 from China.
The group – whose visit was assisted by Tourism Ireland – consists of four senior managers from the Shaoxing Hi Tech Zone, as well as eight entrepreneurs from Shaoxing City. Shaoxing is one of China’s economic ‘hotspots’ right now. The Shao Xing Hi Tech Zone recently purchased the Irish Pavilion, built for the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai – and they now plan to invest about €100 million (CNY8 hundred million), to convert the pavilion into a multi-functional building, cultural hub and permanent landmark in Shaoxing.
Before they embark on this major project, the group from Shaoxing decided to undertake a fact-finding visit to Ireland this week, to get to know our country better. Because Cork is twinned with Shanghai, that was the first stop on their itinerary, where they had a meeting with representatives of the city council. They also spent time in Dublin where they enjoyed some sightseeing, taking in some of our major attractions including Trinity College and the Book of Kells and the Guinness Storehouse.
Susan Li, Tourism Ireland’s manager in China, said: “Although the major focus of Tourism Ireland’s promotional activity to highlight The Gathering this year is in countries with a strong Diaspora connection – like Britain, the US, Canada and Australia – Tourism Ireland is also working hard in emerging tourism markets, like China, to raise awareness of Ireland. We have a busy programme of promotions under way throughout 2013, placing the spotlight on the many great festivals and events taking place right around Ireland as part of The Gathering. Our message for Chinese holidaymakers is that there has never been a better time to visit.”
Pat Ledwidge, Cork City Council (third left), with Mr Zhang Tiefei, entrepreneur; Mr Wang Guangshan, director of the Didang sub-district office, Yucheng district in Shaoxing city; Mr Zhao Dingguo, Shaoxing Hi-tech Zone; Mr Mao Qinlag, Shaoxing City Management Law Enforcement Bureau; Mr Zhou Tan, Shaoxing Hi-tech Zone; and interpreter Ms Linlin Yu.
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 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.