Tourism Ireland invited 11 leading tour operators from China to visit the island of Ireland, in advance of attending a B2B workshop with Irish tourism enterprises in Dublin today (16 October).
The visit is being organised in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and Fáilte Ireland, to encourage the visiting tour operators to extend the island of Ireland content of their existing programmes or to include Ireland for the first time in their 2015 programmes.
The group’s itinerary took in Belfast – including Titanic Belfast and the Crumlin Road Gaol; Kerry – including the Ring of Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula; as well as Adare and Kildare.
Jim Paul, Tourism Ireland’s head of Australia and developing markets, said:
“Tourism Ireland is delighted to bring these influential tour operators to the island of Ireland for the annual New Markets Workshop – which provides such an important opportunity for our tourism partners. Fact-finding visits like this are a valuable element of Tourism Ireland’s overall promotional effort in emerging tourism markets like China; they provide an excellent opportunity for us to position the island of Ireland as a ‘must-see’ destination among influential travel decision-makers".
The visit of the group is particularly timely following the launch of the new British-Irish Visa Scheme last week. Jim Paul continued:
“The introduction of the British-Irish Visa Scheme is really good news, making it easier than ever before for visitors from China and India to visit the island of Ireland. 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 on a single visa. We will be working closely with our colleagues in VisitBritain, to leverage the benefits of the new scheme in both China and India.”
John Mulvihill (back, left) welcomes Chinese tour operators to the Kerry Bog Village Museum near Glenbeigh; also pictured are Kila Du, Tourism Ireland (front, right), and tour guide Min Lin Siew(back)
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, we welcomed an estimated 8 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of almost €4 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
- Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, available in ten different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world.