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23 Apr 2018

Tourism Ireland gets ready to lead sales mission to China

Tourism Ireland, together with 24 tourism companies from the island of Ireland, is preparing to blitz four major cities in China next month, as part of its 2018 sales mission to grow tourism from China. The organisation held a briefing today (23 April) in Dublin, for the Irish tourism operators who will participate in the 2018 China sales mission.

The sales mission – which takes place 7-12 May – will target top Chinese travel agents and tour operators, through a busy programme of workshops, presentations and networking events 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.
Commenting on the upcoming sales mission, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Our annual sales mission is a key element of our promotional programme in China – providing our tourism partners from Ireland with a platform to inform and influence the Chinese travel trade on all that the island of Ireland has to offer and, importantly, encouraging the Chinese travel trade to include the destination in their brochures and programmes. Tourism Ireland is committed to growing Chinese visitor numbers to Ireland and our sales mission plays a significant role in helping us do so.

“China is an important emerging travel market and one that Tourism Ireland is committed to growing over the coming years. A key message for Tourism Ireland in China is the British-Irish Visa Scheme, which enables Chinese travellers to visit both Ireland and the UK on a single visa of either country.”

Tourism Ireland has been working hard to build awareness of the island of Ireland in China. The organisation has a strong network in China, with offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Chengdu. Tourism Ireland’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; and social media is also increasingly important in helping to raise awareness of Ireland in this mobile-dominant country.

Olga Wang, Embassy of China in Ireland; James Kenny, Tourism Ireland; Wei Zhou, China bridge; and Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, at the briefing for Tourism Ireland’s 2018 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 281,000 people across the island.
  • In 2017, we welcomed approximately 10.65 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €5.78 billion.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted around 19.3 million visitors in 2017.