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16 Jun 2014

Tourism Ireland welcomes joint visa initiative between Ireland and the United Kingdom

New ‘British Irish Visa Scheme’ will help boost tourism from China and India

Tourism Ireland has welcomed the launch of a joint visa initiative between Ireland and the United Kingdom, which will commence this autumn with China and India.

Welcoming the new scheme, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “The launch of the British Irish Visa Scheme is really good news, making it easier than ever before for visitors from emerging tourism markets like China and India to visit the island of Ireland. It is a significant step in helping us to grow visitor numbers from these markets – whether they wish to travel to Ireland for sightseeing, golf or as business tourists.

“For the island of Ireland, the majority of our overseas visitors come from 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 new tourism markets, particularly China and India, which we believe will play an increasingly important role for travel and tourism. Given that visitors from these markets are travelling a considerable distance, and often want to include more than one destination on their itinerary, it makes sense to make it as easy as possible for them to visit both Ireland and the UK, including Northern Ireland, on a single visa. We will be working closely with our colleagues in VisitBritain, to leverage the benefits of the new scheme in both India and China.

Mr Gibbons continued: “This week, we are welcoming Mr Liu Yunshan, a member of the Communist Party Politburo Standing Committee and First Secretary of the Central Secretariat of the CPC, to Ireland. His visit will be widely covered by the media in China, providing another wonderful opportunity to showcase Ireland to potential holidaymakers in China.”


Notes To Editors

  • Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
  • Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 200,000 people.
  • In 2013, an estimated 8 million overseas visitors visited the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of approximately €3.64 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, which appears in 11 different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world.


Previous Press Release

15 Jun 2014

International golf media swing into action