Tourism Ireland's target to grow the number of Chinese visitors to the island by 2025 has been revised up to 200,000, an increase of more than 14 percent from its previous figure of 175,000 due to the huge potential of the Chinese travel market.
To achieve the newly-set target, Tourism Ireland will double its marketing efforts in China in the coming months, which will include doubling its investment in China to one million euros (1.12 million U.S. dollars) as well as doubling its marketing team on the ground in the country, said the statement.
Currently Tourism Ireland has set up four offices in the Chinese mainland. They include Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu.
A largest ever sales mission of Tourism Ireland, which comprises 26 Irish tourism businesses, left for China on Monday, said the statement.
The mission, according to the statement, will meet hundreds of travel agents and tour operators as well as key airlines and travel journalists in Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shanghai and Beijing.
Another sales mission will be sent to China this autumn, which will take in Hong Kong and Shenzhen to capitalize on the direct flights recently opened between the two cities and Dublin, it said.
According to Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, Tourism Ireland welcomed an estimated 100,000 Chinese visitors to the island of Ireland in 2018, up 11 percent over 2017.
"The recent introduction of direct flights linking three Chinese cities, namely Beijing, Hong Kong and Shenzhen, to Dublin has been a major game changer and offers a real opportunity for us," said Gibbons, adding that this has boosted Tourism Ireland's confidence in revising up its growth target for the Chinese market.
According to Tourism Ireland, around 11.2 million overseas residents visited the island of Ireland in 2018, delivering total revenue of approximately 6.1 billion euros.
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