The Limerick Strand Hotel has successfully completed Fáilte Ireland’s Get China Ready programme, one of the few tourism businesses to do so and the first in the county.

The China Ready 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 with market diversification and reduce the risks currently posed by Brexit.

The programme is an initiative of 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 Irish tourism businesses are beginning to see an increase in the number of Chinese visitors since direct flights from China started in June 2018.

Paul emphasised: “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.”

Stephen O’Connor, General Manager of the Strand Hotel in Limerick, added: “This programme has been a fascinating journey for our team and we really delighted to gain an understanding of the cultural needs of our Chinese guests so that they have a wonderful experience, but also a great opinion of Ireland as a tourism destination.”

Executive Chef Tom Flavin has created specific menus for Chinese guests, and now offers Congee at breakfast. The hotel has also produced welcome packs in Mandarin, which coincided with a group of Chinese tourists staying at the hotel – allowing the 25 trained staff to test out their newly learned Mandarin phrases.

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