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02 Nov 2016

Chinese tour operators ‘wowed’ by Northern Ireland

A group of tour operators from southern China has been visiting Northern Ireland – as guests of Tourism Ireland, China Southern Airlines and Virgin Atlantic. 

Following an itinerary devised by Tourism NI, the group spent time in Belfast, where they visited Titanic Belfast and Belfast Castle. They also travelled along the Causeway Coastal Route, stopping off at Ballygally, Carrick-a-rede rope bridge, the Giant’s Causeway and various Game of Thrones locations en route.

James Kenny, Tourism Ireland’s Manager China, said: “We are delighted that these influential Chinese tour operators have had the opportunity to come to Northern Ireland, to see and experience some of our top visitor attractions. Working with Chinese tour operators and travel agents is an important part of Tourism Ireland’s annual promotional programme. The aim of this fact-finding visit was to inform and enthuse them about what Northern Ireland has to offer – so they are better equipped to advise their clients when making future travel plans.”

According to the latest data from the UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization), China is now the world’s largest outbound travel market – with some 120 million people travelling overseas each year, spending about $165 billion. 

Tourism Ireland has offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Chengdu.  Chinese tour operators and tour guide Min Lin Siew (right) check out Tourism Ireland’s ‘Door of Thrones’ in the Ballygally Castle Hotel.

Notes To Editors

  • Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
  • Tourism is responsible for in excess of 5.2% of GDP in Northern Ireland and supports approximately 43,000 jobs.
  • In 2015, we welcomed almost 2 million overseas visitors to Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of about £484 million. 
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted more than 16.6 million visitors in 2015.