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14 Oct 2013

Ireland’s tourism market filled with eastern promise

Nine leading tour operators from China enjoyed a visit to Ireland, after attending a B2B tourism workshop in Belfast.

Carefully selected and invited here by Tourism Ireland, the group got to experience at first-hand some of the many things to see and do for Chinese holidaymakers in Kerry and elsewhere around Ireland. Their itinerary – designed by Fáilte Ireland – included visitor attractions like the Irish National Stud in Kildare, the Rock of Cashel, Blarney Castle, Cork’s English Market, Muckross House and Gardens in Killarney, as well as the Guinness Storehouse and the Book of Kells.  They also enjoyed a bespoke shopping experience in Dublin with Luxury Ireland and an evening at the Irish House Party. 

Brenda He, Tourism Ireland China, said: “Visits such as this for influential tour operators are extremely important, to showcase the variety of things to see and do around Ireland. Our aim is to increase awareness of the destination among the tour operators, enthuse them about Ireland and ultimately secure a greater share of the Chinese travel market for the island of Ireland.

“While the majority of our overseas visitors come from GB, North America and Mainland Europe, it is important that we expand our focus and look outside these markets for new opportunities. And while visitor numbers from markets like China are small right now, when compared to our more established tourism markets, it is important to remember that visitors from long-haul markets spend more than the average visitor and typically stay longer than visitors from closer to home.”

Tourism Ireland’s busy programme of activity to grow tourism from China involves co-operative campaigns with airlines and influential tour operators to ensure Ireland features prominently in their itineraries and travel brochures; familiarisation visits for Chinese travel agents and tour operators to Ireland; as well as working closely with travel and lifestyle journalists, to ensure the island of Ireland feature extensively in the media in China.