Tourism Ireland Begins China Trade Mission
Tourism Ireland's sales mission to China kicks off this week with a delegation of 15 tourism enterprises from Ireland taking part hoping to increase the country's share of this rapidly-growing tourism market.
The Tourism Ireland delegation is also joined this week by other key partners – including the DAA, to explore opportunities for direct flights from China to Ireland; and the UK and Irish visa offices, to continue to highlight the British-Irish Visa Scheme, which enables leisure and business travellers from China to visit Ireland and the UK on a single visa.
Over the coming week, the companies from Ireland – including hoteliers, visitor attractions and destination management companies – will meet and conclude deals with leading Chinese tour operators and travel agents, in the key cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. And, for the first time ever, this year’s sales mission will include Hong Kong, to begin exploring the potential of the market there.
The overall objective is to engage with Chinese tour operators who are currently selling the island of Ireland, or who have strong potential to sell the destination – and to encourage them to extend their Ireland offering, or to include Ireland for the first time, in their brochures and programmes.
China is an important emerging travel market and one that Tourism Ireland is committed to growing over the coming years. In 2015, we welcomed approximately 45,000 Chinese visitors to Ireland. Tourism Ireland aims to grow Chinese visitor numbers to 50,000 per year, by 2017.