Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland invited 11 leading tour operators from China to visit Ireland last week – to attend a B2B workshop with Irish tourism providers in Limerick and to take part in a fact-finding visit of counties Cork and Kerry, to experience some of the many things to see and do in this part of Ireland for Chinese holidaymakers.
During their time here, the Chinese group visited Blarney Castle and the Jameson Whiskey Experience in Midleton. Their itinerary also included a walking tour of Cork city, taking in St Finbarr’s Cathedral, the Crawford Art Gallery and the English Market. In Killarney, they enjoyed a trip around the lakes by jaunting car and visited Muckross House and Gardens.
Susan Li, Tourism Ireland China, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted that so many of these influential tour operators took time out from their busy schedules to come and visit the South West and Ireland. The majority of our overseas visitors come from the core markets of Great Britain, North America and Mainland Europe, 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 emerging tourism markets in Asia like 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. Tourism Ireland is very active right now in markets like China, working to raise the profile of the island of Ireland as a premier holiday and business tourism destination and familiarisation visits such as this are an important part of that promotional effort.”
Tourism Ireland’s busy programme of activity to grow tourism from China involves co-operative promotions with airlines and influential tour operators to ensure Ireland features prominently in their itineraries and travel programmes; hosting familiarisation visits for Chinese travel agents and tour operators around the island of Ireland; as well as working closely with travel and lifestyle journalists, to ensure the island of Ireland features extensively in the media in China.