The first graduates of Fáilte Ireland’s China Ready Programme were presented with their certificates at a ceremony in Fáilte Ireland’s Dublin HQ. The programme is aimed at educating Irish tourism businesses about the opportunities available from the Chinese tourist market and is part of Fáilte Ireland’s work to assist tourism businesses to diversify their market mix and reduce the risks currently posed by Brexit. The programme is being run by Fáilte Ireland in cooperation with Tourism Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland.
Presenting the certificates, Paul Keeley, Director of Commercial Development at Fáilte Ireland, said that the Irish tourism industry was gearing up to ‘Get China Ready’ in anticipation of the first direct flights from China starting in June 2018.
Keeley emphasised, “China is one of the fastest-growing outbound travel markets in the world with numbers predicted to grow to 200 million by 2020. Last year, an estimated 70,000 Chinese visitors travelled to Ireland and with new direct flights from Beijing and Hong Kong beginning in June, we would expect a substantial increase in those numbers over the coming years. The aim of the ‘China Ready Programme’ is to ensure that the Chinese visitor is warmly welcomed to Ireland and that tourism businesses are prepared and culturally aware of the requirements of our Chinese visitors.”
The presentation was attended by Madame Xue, Commercial Counsellor at the Chinese Embassy.
The first Fáilte Ireland China Ready certificates were awarded to:
• Glenkeen Farm Co. Mayo
• City North Hotel, Gormanstown, Co. Meath
• Westgrove Hotel, Clane, Co.Kildare
• Europa Hotel, Belfast, Co. Antrim
• Culodden Hotel, Belfast, Co. Antrim
• Stormont Hotel, Belfast, Co. Antrim
• Newbridge Silver
• Irish Greyhound Board
Fáilte Ireland anticipates training up to 150 more businesses through the programme during the rest of 2018.