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05 Jun 2018

Winging it from China!

Travel agents in Beijing hear about new flight from Beijing to Dublin and all about the island of Ireland

Some 70 Chinese travel professionals have been hearing all about the new direct flight from Beijing to Dublin and about the island of Ireland – at a training seminar in Beijing, organised by Tourism Ireland in conjunction with VisitScotland and Hainan Airlines.

Hainan Airlines, China’s largest independent airline, will launch its new year-round flight from Beijing to Dublin on 12 June. The flights will operate four times per week; on two days per week, the service will be direct, non-stop flights between Dublin and Beijing and on the other two days, the flights will operate with a stopover in Edinburgh.

Travel agents continue to play an important role in China, with Chinese 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 seminar was to highlight the new ease of access between Beijing and Ireland to the travel agents, as well as the many things to see and do here for Chinese holidaymakers.

In 2017, we welcomed an estimated 70,000 Chinese visitors to the island of Ireland; Tourism Ireland aims to grow Chinese visitor numbers to 175,000 per year, by 2025 (+150% on 2017).

James Kenny, Tourism Ireland’s Manager China, said: “We were delighted to partner with Hainan Airlines and VisitScotland, to inform and enthuse key travel agents in Beijing about the new Hainan service and about the island of Ireland. During the workshop, they heard all about Dublin and Belfast, the Wild Atlantic Way, the Causeway Coastal Route and Ireland’s Ancient East, as well filming locations used in Game of Thrones and Star Wars.

“China is the largest outbound travel market in the world and one that Tourism Ireland is committed to growing over the coming years. In 2017, we welcomed an estimated 70,000 Chinese visitors to the island of Ireland; the introduction of the new direct flight from Beijing next week is a major game-changer and offers a real opportunity for us to build on this number. We look forward to working with Hainan Airlines, to maximise the promotion of, and drive demand for, this new service. We are confident that we are in a strong position to grow this emerging travel market in 2018 and over the coming years.”


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.
  Steffi Zhang (left) and James Kenny (second right), both Tourism Ireland; Martin McDermott, First Secretary of Scottish Affairs Office, British Embassy (right); and representatives from Hainan Airlines – at a training seminar for travel professionals in Beijing, organised by Tourism Ireland in conjunction with VisitScotland and Hainan Airlines.

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 www.ireland.com, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted around 19.3 million visitors in 2017.

Previous Press Release

01 Jun 2018

Hong Kong is ready for lift off!