Nine leading tour operators from China enjoyed a visit to Ireland, after attending a B2B tourism workshop in Belfast.
Carefully selected and invited here by Tourism Ireland, the group got to experience at first-hand some of the many things to see and do for Chinese holidaymakers in Kerry and elsewhere around Ireland. Their itinerary – designed by Fáilte Ireland – included visitor attractions like the Irish National Stud in Kildare, the Rock of Cashel, Blarney Castle, Cork’s English Market, Muckross House and Gardens in Killarney, as well as the Guinness Storehouse and the Book of Kells. They also enjoyed a bespoke shopping experience in Dublin with Luxury Ireland and an evening at the Irish House Party.
Brenda He, Tourism Ireland China, said: “Visits such as this for influential tour operators are extremely important, to showcase the variety of things to see and do around Ireland. Our aim is to increase awareness of the destination among the tour operators, enthuse them about Ireland and ultimately secure a greater share of the Chinese travel market for the island of Ireland.
“While the majority of our overseas visitors come from GB, North America and Mainland Europe, it is important that we expand our focus and look outside these markets for new opportunities. And while visitor numbers from markets like China are small right now, when compared to our more established tourism markets, it is important to remember that visitors from long-haul markets spend more than the average visitor and typically stay longer than visitors from closer to home.”
Tourism Ireland’s busy programme of activity to grow tourism from China involves co-operative campaigns with airlines and influential tour operators to ensure Ireland features prominently in their itineraries and travel brochures; familiarisation visits for Chinese travel agents and tour operators to Ireland; as well as working closely with travel and lifestyle journalists, to ensure the island of Ireland feature extensively in the media in China.
Chinese tour operators in the grounds of Muckross House, Killarney, with Rachel Ren, Tourism Ireland (second row, second left) and tour guide Min Lin Siew (front, right).
Further media information:
Brian Swift, 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, 7.4 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 had an extensive programme of promotions under way to highlight ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ around the world, working closely with the ‘Gathering’ project team.