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09 Mar 2018

Ireland wins ‘best self-drive holiday destination’ award in China

Ireland has been named the ‘best overseas self-drive touring destination’, at an awards ceremony in China this week. 

The awards were organised by travel giant Ctrip – the leading online travel agent in China, with more than 250 million customers, and the second largest travel agency in the world. At the ceremony in Shanghai, Ireland was one of four destinations listed in the ‘best overseas self-drive touring’ category – in good company with Australia, Portugal and Guam, to take the number one spot! Ireland was included for its stunning routes and great driving experiences, including the Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coastal Route. 

Accepting the award, James Kenny, Tourism Ireland’s Manager China, said: “We are delighted that Ireland has been named a ‘best self-drive destination’ for Chinese travellers. People nowadays have so much choice, which makes it more important than ever that the island of Ireland really stands out from other competitor destinations – so this award is really good news as we roll out our busy promotional drive for 2018 here in China. 

“Tourism Ireland has been working hard to build awareness of the island of Ireland in China. Last year, we estimate that approximately 70,000 Chinese people visited island of Ireland. This accolade from cTrip will help to inspire Chinese holidaymakers to choose the island of Ireland; it also provides Tourism Ireland with another great hook to continue to promote Ireland as a ‘must see’ destination in 2018.” 

The Ctrip awards for the various categories are decided upon by votes from over 25 million cTrip users and by a judging panel.

Tourism Ireland has offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Chengdu. The target geographies for Tourism Ireland in China are Shanghai in East China; Beijing and Tianjin in North China; Guangzhou in South China; and Chengdu in West China. The organisation is also now focusing on Hong Kong, since the announcement of the new Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong to Dublin, which will commence in June. 

James Kenny, Tourism Ireland (centre), with the award for ‘best overseas self-drive touring destination’ at the Ctrip awards ceremony in Shanghai.

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.

Previous Press Release

07 Mar 2018

Ireland is ‘wunderbar’ in Berlin