The number one travel blogger in China – Mr FAN Yibo (aka Mr Colorful Map!) – has spent the past week touring Ireland, as a guest of Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland. Mr FAN is hugely influential – his blog has received 77+ million clicks to date and he has more than 360,000 fans on Sina Weibo (one of the most popular social networking sites in China).
This was his first visit to Ireland and his action-packed itinerary included Dublin, Newgrange and the Hill of Tara, a day touring Co Wicklow, as well as some of our other major attractions like the Rock of Cashel, the Cliffs of Moher, Bunratty Castle, the National Park in Killarney and Blarney Castle.
China is an important emerging market and one that Tourism Ireland is committed to growing over the coming years. Outbound travel from China has grown at an exceptionally high rate over recent years, with the number of international trips growing from 10 million in 2000 to 83 million in 2012; and forecasts for the next decade suggest an even greater rise. China is now the third most lucrative outbound travel market in the world, with Chinese people spending US$72.6 billion per year on travel (according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation), a growth of +400% over the past decade.
Amanda Burns, Tourism Ireland’s manager Asia, said: “We are delighted to welcome Mr FAN to Ireland. Photos and details of his visit have already been posted online, encouraging his readers and fans to come here and sample the destination for themselves. The publicity value of his articles and posts is fantastic – they will be read by hundreds of thousands of potential holidaymakers.
“Due to rapid urbanisation, rising disposable incomes and the relaxation of restrictions on foreign travel, the number of Chinese people travelling overseas has grown by an average of +22% per year since 2000; and forecasts for the next decade suggest an even greater rise. While visitor numbers to Ireland from China are small right now, when compared to our established tourism markets, it is important to remember that visitors from China spend more than the average visitor and typically stay longer than visitors from closer-to-home markets.”