China is the fastest growing travel market in the world. With a population of 1.3 billion it has the potential to exert great influence over the development and marketing of tourism destinations worldwide over the next decade.
Ireland has everything the Chinese tourist is looking for in a holiday: bustling cities, rich culture, great shopping, ancient history, stunning landscapes, unforgettable driving routes and, of course, golf. So, no matter what your business, you should consider the great growth potential of the Chinese market.
Tourism Ireland estimates that 90,000 Chinese visited the island of Ireland in 2017, an increase of 43% from 2016. This shows great potential for even more growth in the years to come.
2018 saw the launch of two new direct routes connecting Ireland with Beijing and Hong Kong. The Hainan Airlines Beijing-Dublin route has 4 flights per week in the peak season, and 3 flights per week in the low season. The Cathay Pacific Hong Kong-Dublin flight has 4 flights per week. In February 2019, a new direct service between Shenzhen and Dublin was launched by Hainan Airlines. This new route will have two flights a week.
As well as launching these routes, Tourism Ireland has continued to work hard to promote the island of Ireland in China. This year we organised a successful sales mission with island of Ireland industry across 4 cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong. Industry representatives met with over 300 Chinese trade, giving destination training and developing Ireland programmes. We have also participated in the St. Patrick’s Day Global Greening campaign and illuminated iconic sights such as the Great Wall of China and Canton Tower in green.
Tourism Ireland has developed many marketing partnerships with airlines and digital platforms in China. We also attend trade workshops and organise trade and media FAMS every year to bring more exposure to Ireland as a single destination.
For 2019, Tourism Ireland plans to continue these projects and focus more specifically on digital promotions in China.
The outlook for 2019 is very bright and Tourism Ireland look to build again on the double-digit growth achieved in this market every year for the last five years.
Please sign up to receive email alerts for the latest Tourism Ireland opportunities in China throughout the year. If you have any questions please email us, we’re here to help.
We look forward to working with you to help you to promote your business and grow bookings from this important developing market.