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Chinese Ambassador visits Tourism Ireland HQ

On Monday, 29th January 2018, H.E, Dr. Yue Xiaoyong, Chinese Ambassador to Ireland, was warmly welcomed to the Headquarters of Tourism Ireland by Mr. Niall Gibblons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland.

The Ambassador was given a briefing about the ongoing efforts by Tourism Ireland to promote the island of Ireland as an attractive tourism destination for potential Chinese visitors. Mr. Gibbons, who had led seven promotional missions and road shows to China in previous years involving dozens of tour operators and hospitality partners in Ireland, expressed his confidence in the two-way tourist traveling between Ireland and China, citing direct airlink, visa facilitation, China-readiness and marketing as the “4 Pillars of TI Strategy”.

Mr. Gibbons emphasized that China was an important emerging travel market for Ireland, and that Tourism Ireland was committed to tapping into its potential in the coming years. Tourism Ireland has been urging and helping the players in the Irish tourism and hospitality industry to “get China-ready”, expecting to welcome 100,000 Chinese tourists per year after the first direct flight comes into operation between Ireland and China later this year.

Offering congratulations on the record-high number of 10.6 million visitors in 2017 to the island of Ireland, which has only about 6.5 million residents, Ambassador Yue expressed appreciation of the commitment and leadership of Tourism Ireland, and encouraged Mr. Gibbons and his team to continue to make their contributions to further improvement of visa regimes with a view to enhancing mutual understanding and mutual trust between the Irish people and the Chinese people. The Ambassador also welcomed the China-ready programme initiated by Tourism Ireland.

Ambassador Yue and Mr. Gibbons had a discussion about what could and should be done to enable Ireland and Northern Ireland to win a greater share of the 135 million Chinese people who travel overseas each year, both agreeing that reciprocal visa arrangements would hold a key to future success of the Emerald Isle as a tourist destination.

Talking about Tourism Ireland’s 2018 sales mission to China in May, the Ambassador urged Mr. Gibbons to take the opportunity to strengthen contacts and exchanges with Chinese partners, particularly the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) at Ministerial level.

Two informative presentations about the Chinese tourism market and Chinese visitors’ survey were given during the meeting. Participants included senior staff members from both Chinese Embassy and Tourism Ireland, as well as the management representatives from Conrad Hotel Dublin, Guinness Storehouse and Dublin Airport.

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