Industry partners from around Ireland took part in a tourism trade mission to China last week. The trade mission, which took place in the city of Sanya (in the southern Hainan province), was organised by VisitBritain and sponsored by Tourism Ireland in China.
Consisting of a series of B2B workshops, presentations and networking events with influential Chinese travel agents, the trade mission provided an excellent platform for participants to showcase their tourism product and to communicate what is unique about the island of Ireland. Over the course of the two-day mission, face-to-face meetings were conducted with approximately 60 key Chinese decision-makers, encouraging them to include the island of Ireland in their future holiday programmes.
Commenting on the long-term potential and importance of New & Developing markets such as China, Jim Paul, Tourism Ireland’s Head of New & Developing Markets, said: “The majority of overseas tourists to the island of Ireland continue to come from the core markets of GB, Mainland Europe and North America, and while this will continue, it is important that we expand our focus beyond these markets and look to the long-term opportunities presented by the markets in Asia like China. Britain is a very popular destination for Chinese travellers, so it makes sense for Tourism Ireland to co-operate with VisitBritain, to target those Chinese visitors travelling to GB and encourage them to visit the island of Ireland as part of their trip.
“Tourism Ireland believes that the Asian outbound travel market is set for significant growth in the coming years. In particular, China offers significant business potential for tourism enterprises around the island of Ireland. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the Asia-Pacific region will be one of the fastest-growing outbound regions, expanding by +6.5% on average over the next 15 years. Visitors from markets like China stay twice as long as the average holidaymaker, are more likely to travel throughout the island and make a significant economic contribution to numerous tourism sectors.”
Geraldine Enright, Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre during the recent tourism trade mission to China.
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland
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