Gem of a place

Updated: 2015-07-15 08:42

By Yang Feiyue(China Daily)

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Gem of a place

 Ring of Kerry, a 179-km-long circular tourist route in County Kerry, southwestern Ireland.[Photo provided to China Daily]

A road show promoting Ireland's tourism resources, including hotels and tourist attractions, visited Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shanghai and Beijing between Wednesday and Sunday.

The Emerald Isle is touting its natural beauty, legendary castles and modern charm to attract Chinese tourists to boost the local economy. "Tourism has been one of the main drivers of our recovery," says Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, which is responsible for marketing the island of Ireland overseas as a holiday destination.

"And our annual sales mission in China is an important event in our marketing calendar."

The purpose of the mission is to enhance ties between the Irish tourism industry and leading Chinese travel partners and airlines.

Approximately 320 Chinese travel agencies talked directly with Ireland's tourism businesses about future cooperation during the road show.

"We expect to develop more Ireland itineraries and packages for Chinese tourists," Gibbons says.

Between 33,000 to 34,000 Chinese visitors visited Ireland in 2014, up 10 percent over the previous year, according to the tourism bureau.

Gibbons says they aim to increase that number to 50,000 by 2017.

The enormous potential of the market is behind Ireland's persistent efforts to woo Chinese tourists.

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