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Ireland’s tourism agency aims for 150% growth from China

May 7, 2018

Ireland’s tourism agency, Tourism Ireland has aims to grow the Chinese tourist market to 175,000 per year by 2025, an increase of 150%.

This comes as Tourism Ireland has just began its biggest ever sales mission to China with a delegation of organisations from Ireland. The 29 senior figures in tourism businesses across the island of Ireland are taking part in events in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.

Next month will see the introduction of direct flights from Ireland to both Beijing by Hainan Airlines and Hong Kong by Cathay Pacific. Both of these will represent 1700 seats each week, as Ireland’s first flights to East Asia.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said:

“China is the largest outbound travel market in the world and one that Tourism Ireland is committed to growing over the coming years. In 2017, we welcomed an estimated 70,000 Chinese visitors to the island of Ireland; the introduction of direct flights from Beijing and Hong Kong is a major game-changer and offers a real opportunity for us to build on this number. We are confident that we are in a strong position to grow this emerging travel market in 2018 and over the coming years.”

The mission will involve events that will allow Chinese travel agents and businesses to meet and discuss collaboration. This type of event has seen many organisations from Ireland attract new business from Chinese travel agents in the past. Also included is events at the Irish embassy in Dublin.

With the new direct flights to Ireland, Tourism Ireland will highlight the importance of the British Irish Visa Scheme, which allows Chinese citizens to visit both Ireland the UK using a single visa. As Northern Ireland is within the UK this scheme has been an added benefit to Ireland for selling the whole of the Island aboard.