Tourism Ireland has scooped gold at a travel awards ceremony in China for their excellent marketing of the island of Ireland.
This was the 15th year of the Chinese Tourist Welcome (CTW) Awards, which were held in Shanghai and select winners from over 30 countries and territories worldwide.
Selected by a panel of Chinese and non-Chinese travel industry experts, Tourism Ireland beat off stiff competition to claim the top place in the marketing category.
Ireland, who welcomed an estimated 70,000 Chinese visitors in 2017, aims to grow Chinese visitor numbers to 175,000 per year by 2025.
Next month sees the commencement of two new direct flights to Dublin from Beijing and Hong Kong. These flights represent around 1,700 airline seats each week and this is the first time Ireland has a direct flight from the Asia Pacific Region.
Speaking about the award, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “We are delighted to have won gold for marketing the island of Ireland here in China, at the 2018 CTW Awards. We are constantly looking at innovative and engaging ways of reaching Chinese travellers, to raise awareness of the island of Ireland and to ensure Ireland stands out from other destinations.”
He added: “China is the largest outbound travel market in the world and one that Tourism Ireland is committed to growing over the coming years. In 2017, we welcomed an estimated 70,000 Chinese visitors to the island of Ireland; the introduction of direct flights from Beijing and Hong Kong is a major game-changer and offers a real opportunity for us to build on this number. We are confident that we are in a strong position to grow this emerging travel market in 2018 and over the coming years.”
Catherine McGovern, Director of Sales & Marketing at CityNorth Hotel, commented: “It is a privilege to receive this prestigious award from COTRI, which recognises our innovative marketing strategy. It has been a wonderful experience to collaborate with COTRI and Fáilte Ireland and to have successfully completed the China Welcome Programme training. We are looking forward to welcoming our new Chinese Guests to CityNorth Hotel.”
In conjunction with Fáilte Ireland and Tourism NI, Tourism Ireland has developed and successfully piloted a new ‘China Ready’ training programme – with more than 20 tourism operators around the island of Ireland participating to date, to learn about the specific requirements and needs of Chinese visitors.
For more information, visit tourismireland.com.