A group of leading Chinese tour operators enjoyed the sights and sounds of Belfast at the weekend. They had been attending the ‘Best of Britain and Ireland’ show in London prior to joining the familiarisation visit, organised by Tourism Ireland and supported by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board. The visitors represent tour operators in Hong Kong and the wealthy Guangzhou–Canton area of Southern China.
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) predicts that China will be one of the world’s fastest-growing outbound tourism markets in coming years.
Tourism Ireland research has shown that the key reasons why visitors from New & Developing markets such as China wish to visit Northern Ireland are the friendliness of the people, the beauty of the scenery and the cultural and heritage experiences on offer here. Last year Tourism Ireland began marketing directly to Chinese consumers; the organisation also works with intermediaries in China, such as tour operators, airlines and travel media. Before leaving Northern Ireland the group also toured the Walled City of Derry and the Causeway Coast.
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Elaine Moore / Clair Balmer, Tourism Ireland
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