Ireland has been voted “most popular destination 2012” at a high profile awards ceremony in Shanghai. The annual awards, the SPECIAL TRIP: THE WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS, are organised by the Oriental Morning Post, a popular daily newspaper in Shanghai with about 600,000 readers. The awards celebrate excellence in travel and the winners are voted by readers of the newspaper, as well as by travel specialists from around China.
And, in a recent survey carried out by Life Style, a weekly Beijing publication with about 300,000 readers, Ireland was named the “most charming destination 2012”.
Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Ireland has been singled out for these awards. Tourism Ireland has been working hard to build awareness of the island of Ireland as a premier holiday destination in China. With 2 million Chinese people visiting Europe each year, this is a significant emerging tourism market and an important one for the island of Ireland to tap into. I am confident that these awards will enhance the reputation of the island of Ireland and help to attract more Chinese visitors in 2013 and beyond.”
“Since the visa waiver scheme was introduced by the Irish Government, there has been a noted increase in demand among Chinese tour operators for visas for Ireland. A number of tour operators in China also began programming Ireland for the first time in 2012, on the back of the new arrangements. Tourism Ireland will continue to work hard to put the island of Ireland on the map in emerging markets like China, which offers exciting possibilities for tourism in the medium to long-term.”
Vicky Wu, Tourism Ireland (fifth left), with the ‘most popular destination 2012’ award for Ireland, with the other winners at the recent ‘SPECIAL TRIP: The World Travel Awards’ in Shanghai.
Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland
T: 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; there are 11 different language versions for 30+ markets around the world.
• ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ will be Ireland’s biggest ever tourism initiative and will consist 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.