Chinese Travel Operators and Journalists Say ‘Nǐ hǎo’ to Ireland
Many high-profile figures in Chinese Tourism relations have been welcomed to the Emerald Isle as guests of Tourism Ireland.
Three Chinese influencers and a senior editor at National Geographic Traveller magazine (China edition) have been visiting Ireland, welcomed as guests of the Irish marketing body, as well as Fáilte Ireland, Tourism NI and Cathay Pacific. Together the four visitors have a combined audience of more than 60 million readers.
They flew to Dublin on the Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong, which launched in June 2018. The aim of their trip was to highlight the new flight and ease of access from China to Ireland to their readers, as well as some of the great things to see and do here for Chinese holidaymakers. Their busy itinerary took them to the Guinness Storehouse, Newbridge Silverware Visitor Centre and the Museum of Style Icons in Kildare, the National Design & Craft Gallery in Kilkenny, Claddagh Jewellers in Galway, The Cat and the Moon (jewellery and craft store) in Sligo, the Old Bushmills Distillery and Mount Stewart.
Meanwhile, a group of Chinese travel agents and tour operators – from Beijing, Shanghai and Wuxi (a city in the southern Jiangsu province) – have visited Ireland as well, also as guests of Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland, as well as Hainan Airlines. They flew to Dublin on the new Hainan Airlines flight from Beijing, which was launched in June.
Travel agents continue to play an important role in China, with Chinese travellers preferring to use an agent for a number of reasons, including convenience, language barriers, visa preparation and knowledge gaps. Again, the objective of the visit was to highlight how easy it is to access Ireland from China and to highlight the Emerald Isle as a tourist destination.
The group’s itinerary includes the National Gallery of Ireland, Donegal Craft Village, Slieve League, Michael Davitt Museum, Cobh Heritage Centre, Kildare Village, Titanic Belfast and the walled city of Derry.
“Seeing is believing – so we’re delighted that these Chinese influencers have had the opportunity to experience some of the many things to see and do in Ireland. The aim of their visit was to increase awareness of Ireland’s culture, heritage and cuisine and to help secure a greater share of the 4 million Chinese visitors to Europe each year,” said James Kenny, Tourism Ireland’s Manager in China, in a statement.
China is the largest outbound travel market in the world. In 2017, Ireland welcomed 90,000 Chinese visitors to the island of Ireland. Tourism Ireland say they aim to grow Chinese visitor numbers to 175,000 per year, by 2025.