Tourism Ireland has announced it is to double its investment in the Chinese market to €1m, with the aim of growing Chinese visitor numbers to 200,000 by 2025.
The investment will be rolled out over the coming months and will include the doubling of its marketing team in China to 12 and the establishment of a presence in Hong Kong.
A high-level Ireland Advisory Group is to be created, comprising Chinese CEOs and senior outbound travel professionals. This group will meet each year in China and in Ireland to help maximise opportunities for tourism to Ireland.
The announcement was made by Tourism Minister Shane Ross ahead of Tourism Ireland’s largest ever sales mission to China, which kicks off on Monday, 6th May. A record 26 tourism businesses, as well as five island of Ireland tourism industry leaders, will visit Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shanghai and Beijing this week, to meet hundreds of travel agents and tour operators, as well as airlines and travel journalists.
On the back of last year's increase of 11% in Chinese visitors to Ireland, and following several years of steady growth, Tourism Ireland is ramping up its investment in China to €1m, as part of the Global Ireland initiative.
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross T.D., said: “Over the last number of years Tourism Ireland’s strategy has focused on targeting high-spending markets. The sustained increase in revenue from such markets has played a large part in our success in recent years and there is great potential for China to become another success story.”
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Last year, we welcomed an estimated 100,000 Chinese visitors to the island of Ireland; the introduction of direct flights to Dublin has been a major game-changer and offers a real opportunity for us. Our aim now is to capitalise on the changing travel patterns in China to grow Chinese visitor numbers to 200,000 by 2025 and, in particular, to grow the number of high end individual Chinese travellers to the island of Ireland.”