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09 Dec 2019

Ireland named a ‘top ten most promising overseas destination’ at travel and tourism summit in China

Ireland has been named one of the top ten most promising overseas destinations at a travel and tourism summit in China.
The award was presented to Tourism Ireland on Friday (6 December), at the Golden Footprint Cultural Tourism Summit, which took place in Panzhihua, in the Sichuan province. The event was organised by Weibo – the hugely popular microblogging site, often described as the Chinese version of Twitter. It was attended by social influencers, travel journalists and travel professionals from across China.
At the ceremony, Ireland was named one of the ‘top ten most promising overseas destinations’ for Chinese travellers, along with countries like Germany, Greece, Portugal, Denmark and Indonesia. The award was presented for Tourism Ireland’s activity on Weibo during 2019 to grow its followers, to continue to raise awareness of the island of Ireland among Chinese travellers. Tourism Ireland now has 330,000 followers on Weibo – up +54% since the beginning of 2019; the organisation also has thousands of followers on other social platforms like WeChat and TikTok. 
In 2018, we welcomed an estimated 100,000 Chinese visitors to the island of Ireland. Earlier this year, Tourism Ireland announced its intention to double its marketing investment in China, to €1 million, and to also double its marketing team to 12, this year – to grow Chinese visitor numbers to 200,000 by 2025.
Most Chinese travellers seek opinions online before selecting a holiday destination and half of all destination planning is done on mobile devices – so, a key objective for Tourism Ireland is to raise awareness of Ireland through digital and social media.
Aisling McDermott, Tourism Ireland’s Manager Asia and Middle East, said: “We are delighted that Ireland has been recognised as one of the most promising overseas destinations for Chinese travellers. Social media, and in particular Weibo in China, is now an integral element of Tourism Ireland’s overall promotional programme, so we’re delighted to receive this award. We are constantly looking at innovative and engaging ways of reaching Chinese travellers – using great photos, videos and a range of engaging content to raise awareness of the island of Ireland among our followers and to ensure Ireland stands out from other destinations.”
Tourism Ireland has been undertaking a busy programme of publicity, digital and social media activity in China throughout 2019. The organisation also works closely with leading online travel agents and tour operators.
Elfie Yang, Tourism Ireland, with the trophy for ‘most promising overseas destination’ at the Weibo Golden Footprint Cultural Tourism Summit in the Sichuan province.

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 around 325,000 people across the island.
  • In 2018, we welcomed almost 11.2 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland (+5% on 2017), delivering revenue of approximately €5.86 billion (+5%).
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted around 20+ million visitors in 2018.