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31 Mar 2017

Tourism Ireland leads sales mission to China

‘Team Ireland’ gets ready to ‘blitz’ Chinese cities to grow tourism

Tourism Ireland, together with 15 tourism companies from the island of Ireland, is preparing to blitz four major cities in China next month, as part of its 2017 sales mission to grow tourism from China. The organisation held a briefing today (31 March) in Dublin, for the Irish tourism operators who will participate in the 2017 China sales mission. 

The sales mission – which takes place 24-28 April – will target top Chinese travel agents and tour operators in the key cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong. Travel agents continue to play an important role in China, with travellers preferring to use a travel agent for a number of reasons, including convenience, language barriers, visa preparation and knowledge gaps. The objective of the upcoming sales mission is to engage with Chinese travel professionals who are currently selling the island of Ireland, or who have strong potential to sell the destination – and to encourage them to extend their Ireland offering, or to include Ireland for the first time, in their brochures and programmes. 

Business links between the tourism companies from the island of Ireland and the influential Chinese travel professionals will be strengthened during the sales mission, through a busy programme of workshops, presentations and networking events. 

Commenting on the upcoming sales mission, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Our sales mission is a key element of our promotional programme in China, to win a greater share of the 4 million Chinese visitors who travel to Europe each year. It will give our tourism partners a platform to inform and influence the Chinese travel trade on all that the island of Ireland has to offer and, importantly, encourage them to include the destination in their brochures and programmes. Tourism Ireland is committed to growing Chinese visitor numbers to Ireland and our sales missions play a significant role in helping us do so.”

According to the latest data from the UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization), China is now the world’s largest outbound travel market – with more than 127 million people travelling overseas each year, spending over $292 billion.

Tourism Ireland has a strong network in China, with offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Chengdu. The organisation’s activity in China involves establishing and building relationships with influential intermediaries, including the travel trade, airlines and media – highlighting our natural attractions, cities, castles and proximity to Britain. The Chinese version of Tourism Ireland’s international website is http://www.ireland.com/zh-cn; and social media is also increasingly important in helping to raise awareness of Ireland in this mobile-dominant country.
  Su Fong Gan, Newbridge Silverware; Alison Johnston, Kildare Village; and James Kenny, Tourism Ireland, at the briefing for Tourism Ireland’s 2017 China sales mission.

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 220,000 people.
  • In 2016, we welcomed approximately 10.5 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €5.4 billion.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted 19.37 million visitors in 2016.