WE COULD SOON be seeing a lot more Chinese tourists throughout Ireland.
In a bid to encourage more visitors from the Asian country, Tourism Ireland has been showing a number of Chinese journalists some of our best attractions.
Four journalists – whose publications have a combined circulation of more than 3 million readers – visited a number of counties during the week including Dublin, Galway, Sligo, Limerick, Leitrim and Antrim.
The number of Chinese visitors coming to Ireland has been increasing steadily in recent years. In 2014, about 40,000 Chinese people came on holidays here (up 10% on 2013).
Tourism Ireland aims to push this figure to 50,000 per year by 2017.
Amanda Burns, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Asia, said this goal will be aided by the recently-introduced British-Irish Visa Scheme which enables Chinese travellers to visit both Ireland and the UK on a single visa.
Given that visitors from China are travelling a considerable distance and often want to include more than one destination on their itinerary it makes sense to make it as easy as possible for them to visit both Ireland and the UK on a single visa.
“The aim of this fact-finding visit is to increase awareness of the island of Ireland, to help secure a greater share of the three million plus Chinese visitors who travel to Europe each year,” Burns said.
Tourism Ireland has offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Chengdu, and has had an increasing focus on tapping into the lucrative Chinese market in recent years.
In 2014, we welcomed approximately 8.4 million overseas visitors – leading to about €4.1 billion in revenue.