Business

Irish tourism chiefs on sales mission to grab share of growing Chinese market

A delegation of tourism enterprises from the island of Ireland, including Titanic Belfast, National Trust – Giant’s Causeway and Stena Line are part of the sales mission to China this week
Gareth McKeown

Tourism delegates from across the island of Ireland are in China this week to try and grab a share of the world's largest outbound travel market.

A delegation of tourism enterprises from the island of Ireland, including Titanic Belfast, National Trust – Giant's Causeway and Stena Line are part of the sales mission and hope to conclude deals leading Chinese tour operators and travel agents, in the cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.

The sales mission has been specially designed to strengthen business links between the tourism enterprises from around the island of Ireland and the influential Chinese travel professionals, through a busy programme of workshops, presentations and networking events. 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.

With 135 million people travelling overseas each year, spending over £200 billion China is now the world's largest outbound travel market according to UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization) and the Irish delegation is committed to growing Chinese visitor numbers.

"Our sales mission this week is a key element of our promotional programme in China, to win a greater share of the 135 million Chinese people who travel overseas each year," Neil Gibbons, Tourism Ireland CEO said.

"t will give our tourism partners a platform to inform and influence the Chinese travel trade on all that Northern Ireland and island of Ireland have to offer and, importantly, encourage them to include the destination in their brochures and programmes

A key message for Tourism Ireland in China is the British-Irish Visa Scheme, which enables Chinese travellers to visit both Ireland and the UK, including Northern Ireland, on a single visa of either country.

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