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20 Oct 2017

10 million Chinese tune into travel programmes about Northern Ireland

Some 10 million people across China will see images of Northern Ireland today (Friday, 20 October) in an episode of Morning Call, a popular TV-style talk show which airs on one of the country’s most influential online video platforms, Youku.com (similar to YouTube). 

Tourism Ireland and Tourism NI invited Chinese TV celebrity and musician Mr Gao Xiaosong to visit Northern Ireland last month. During his time here, he filmed for Morning Call in Belfast (at places like St George’s Market and the Crumlin Road Gaol), along the Causeway Coastal Route (including the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge, the Giant’s Causeway and Downhill) and at some of our Game of Thrones filming locations. In all, five different episodes were filmed in Northern Ireland and these will air over the coming months.

James Kenny, Tourism Ireland’s Manager China, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted that Mr Gao chose to film in Northern Ireland for his talk show Morning Call. With an audience of over 10 million viewers, it’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase Northern Ireland to a huge audience of Chinese holidaymakers. TV and film are recognised as strong influencers on prospective visitors and Tourism Ireland regularly works with TV and production companies around the world, to facilitate the making of travel and lifestyle programmes and films around the island of Ireland.”

China is an important emerging travel market and one that Tourism Ireland is committed to growing over the coming years. According to the latest data from the UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization), China is now the world’s largest outbound travel market – with 135 million people travelling overseas each year, spending about $261 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 Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland in this mobile-dominant country.
  Chinese TV celebrity and musician Mr Gao Xiaosong (right), with Phil Ervine, Taste & Tour, during filming for his show in St George’s Market in Belfast.

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 61,300 jobs.
  • In 2016, we welcomed a record 2.1 million overseas visitors to Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of over £543 million. 
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted about 19.37 million visitors in 2016.