DUBLIN: A delegation of 29 senior representatives from 24 tourism enterprises from around the island of Ireland is taking part in the targeted mission to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.
Next month sees the commencement of two new flights to Dublin from Beijing and Hong Kong – eight direct flights, representing around 1,700 airline seats each week, for the first time ever from the Asia Pacific Region to Ireland.
The sales mission will involve meetings with representatives of both Hainan Airlines in Beijing and Cathay Pacific in Hong Kong, to discuss how to drive demand for and maximise the promotion of both services.
Tourism Ireland aims to grow Chinese visitor numbers to 175,000 per year, by 2025 (+150% on 2017).
The mission will also involve meetings with hundreds of leading Chinese travel agents and tour operators. As well as highlighting the new flights to Dublin, a key message for Tourism Ireland this week is the British Irish Visa Scheme – which allows Chinese nationals to visit both Ireland and the UK, including Northern Ireland, using a single visa.
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.”