Xi Jinping visit offers huge chance to tap into Chinese tourism market

February 17th, 2012 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael Clare TD and Chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Pat Breen, has said the visit of the Chinese Vice President to Clare and Dublin this weekend offers us a huge chance to tap into the lucrative Chinese tourism market.

“The visit of Vice-President Xi Jinping to Ireland this weekend gives us a great opportunity to showcase the tourism product on offer in Co. Clare and in our capital city. Thirty-eight million Chinese people travel overseas each year, with two million of these going to Europe. Ireland attracts about 100,000 Chinese visitors annually, and I believe there is serious potential to boost this number.

“The entire visit will be broadcast throughout China, with several camera crews travelling with the Chinese delegation. This means an extremely positive vision of Ireland can be delivered to a potential audience of more than one billion people.”

“The entire visit will be broadcast throughout China, with several camera crews travelling with the Chinese delegation. This means an extremely positive vision of Ireland can be delivered to a potential audience of more than one billion people.”

“During his time in Co. Clare the Vice President will go to see the Cliffs of Moher, attend a medieval banquet in Bunratty and visit a farm in Sixmilebridge. This will all be broadcast on Chinese State Television, providing Clare with a unique platform to showcase all it has to offer.

“It is very encouraging that the Vice President has chosen to come to Ireland, as part of a three nation trip, when he will also visit the US and Turkey. The Government is determined to gain greater access to the Chinese marketplace, which is being specifically targeted in our export strategy.

“I have no doubt this visit will pay dividends in terms of trade and tourism. The introduction of the short-term visa waiver programme introduced in the Jobs Initiative has already boosted visitor numbers from emerging markets like China. And an improvement I secured to the Irish embassy’s website in China following consultation with tour operators makes it easier for potential Chinese tourists to access information on visas. These measures, together with the positive exposure provided by this weekend’s visit, will help to further cement Ireland as a destination of choice for Chinese visitors.”