Tourism Ireland’s biggest ever sales mission to China is under way this week. A record 26 tourism businesses, as well as five tourism industry leaders, are taking part in the targeted mission to Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shanghai and Beijing.
Earlier this week, Tourism Ireland announced its intention to double its marketing investment in China, to €1 million, and to also double its marketing team to 12, over the coming months – to grow Chinese visitor numbers to 200,000 by 2025.
This week’s sales mission involves meetings with hundreds of leading Chinese travel agents and tour operators, as well as with key airlines and travel journalists.
A key message for Tourism Ireland is ease of access from China to Ireland, with three direct flights to Dublin – from Beijing and Shenzhen with Hainan Airlines and from Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific. The organisation is also highlighting the British-Irish Visa Scheme, which enables Chinese travellers to visit both Ireland and the UK on a single visa of either country.
In 2018, we welcomed an estimated 100,000 Chinese visitors to the island of Ireland, up +11% on 2017.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “China is the largest outbound travel market in the world and one that Tourism Ireland is committed to growing over the coming years. In 2018, we welcomed an estimated 100,000 Chinese visitors to the island of Ireland; the introduction of direct flights to Dublin has been a major game-changer and offers a real opportunity. Our aim is to grow Chinese visitor numbers to 200,000 by 2025 and, in particular, to grow the number of high end individual Chinese travellers to the island of Ireland.”
The delegation of tourism enterprises from the island of Ireland in Guangzhou, on day one of Tourism Ireland’s 2019 sales mission to China, with Mark Henry (front, seventh left), James Kenny (front, sixth left) and Cormac Phelan (front, fifth right), all Tourism Ireland.
Notes To Editors
Tourism businesses taking part in the China sales mission this week include:
- Andras Hotel Group
- Ashford Castle
- Brown Thomas Dublin
- Byrne & O’Hanlon
- Carton House Golf & Spa Resort
- Castlemartyr Resort
- Causey Farm
- CIE Tours International
- Culture & Heritage Tours Ireland
- EG Travel Ireland Ltd
- Griffin Group
- InterContinental Dublin
- Kildare Village
- Kylemore Abbey
- McKeever Hotel Group
- National Trust – Giant’s Causeway
- Powerscourt Estate
- Rachel Sunshine International Ltd
- Rural Adventure Tours
- The Savoy Hotel Limerick
- Só Hotels
- Stena Line
- Strand Hotel Limerick
- Titanic Belfast
- Wiiya International
- Zatino Travel