Cobh Tourism has become the first destination in the Republic of Ireland to be awarded a Chinese Tourist Welcome Certification, recognised by tour operators in China.
Cobh already attracts Chinese visitors but they wanted to bring their offering to the next level in order to entice more visitors, prolong their stay, and ensure they leave with a positive experience of the town’s many tourism attractions and experiences.
“We are delighted to be the first in the Republic of Ireland to undertake this training, which is recommended by the European Travel Commission,” said Hendrick Verwey, Chairman of Cobh Tourism.
“It has helped to provide Cobh with a solid foundation to position ourselves at the forefront of the biggest global outbound tourism source and it gave insightful market knowledge to help maximise the success of our marketing and sales initiatives.
“We recognise the Chinese visitor is very different to the recreational holiday maker from Europe or the USA and their reasons for travel is very complex. The training has given us insights into what they expect and how to go the extra mile to welcome them and ensure that they have a wonderful time during their visit in Cobh.”
Cobh Tourism undertook a bespoke ‘Welcome’ Training Programme with the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute (COTRI), the world’s leading independent research institute for Chinese outbound tourism, and the Centre for Competitiveness, aimed at attracting and appropriately welcoming Chinese visitors to Cobh.
Certificates for the completion of this training were presented at a special ceremony in the Commodore Hotel, attended by Mr. James Kenny, China Country Manager, Tourism Ireland, on April 3, 2017, to 34 key tourism businesses in Cobh.
The Guest of Honour at the presentation, Mr. James Kenny from Tourism Ireland, said: “The potential of the Chinese outbound travel market is significant, with Chinese travellers expected to take some 200 million trips overseas by 2020.
“Currently, 4 million Chinese travel to Europe annually and Tourism Ireland is working hard to win a greater share of that business for Ireland.
“We continue to work closely with the relative agencies and airlines, to secure improved access from China to Ireland.
“We are also working to boost off-season travel from China to the island of Ireland, so there are considerable opportunities for innovative regions like Cobh.
“Cobh’s commitment to expanding its tourism offering for Chinese visitors is commendable and it is now in a prime position to take advantage of this growing tourism market.”