A delegation from Belfast – including the Lord Mayor Deirdre Hargey and officials from Visit Belfast – are visiting Shenyang, a city in China’s northeast Liaoning Province which is twinned with Belfast, this week. They met local travel journalists and travel agents, at a showcase event organised by Tourism Ireland yesterday (13 September).
According to Tourism Ireland, we welcomed around 90,000 Chinese visitors to the island of Ireland in 2017, up +43% on 2016. Tourism Ireland is rolling out a busy programme of promotions in China this autumn, to continue to raise awareness of Northern Ireland and to position us well for 2019. Activity includes co-operative promotions with Hainan Airlines and Cathay Pacific to highlight ease of access to Ireland, as well as partnerships with key influencers and bloggers.
James Kenny, Tourism Ireland’s Manager China, said: “This week’s visit by the Belfast delegation is an excellent opportunity to highlight Belfast and Northern Ireland to influential travel professionals and journalists in Shenyang.
“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 90,000 Chinese visitors to the island of Ireland; the introduction of direct flights to Dublin from Beijing and Hong Kong this year is a major game-changer and offers a real opportunity for us to grow this emerging travel market over the coming years.”
Deputy Mayor of Shenyang (back, 10th left); Deirdre Hargey, Lord Mayor of Belfast (back, 11th right); Tim Losty, NI Bureau (back, centre); David Boyce (back, fifth left), Steffi Zhang (back, second left) and James Kenny (front, third left), all Tourism Ireland; Gerry Lennon (back, sixth left) and Rachel McGuickin (back, seventh left), both Visit Belfast; Laura Leonard, Belfast City Council (back, second right); Ms Zhang, Hainan Airlines (back, third left); and officials from Shenyang, at the Belfast showcase event in Shenyang organised by Tourism Ireland.
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 approximately 61,300 jobs.
- In 2017, we welcomed 2.175 million overseas visitors to Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of £566 million.
- 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.