Tourism Ireland has won a gold award for marketing the island of Ireland at a travel awards ceremony in China.
The 2018 Chinese Tourist Welcome (CTW) Awards were presented at ITB China, a B2B travel exhibition in Shanghai. The awards, now in their 15th year, are organised by COTRI (China Outbound Tourism Research Institute). Winners are selected by a panel of Chinese and non-Chinese travel industry experts, who evaluate the entries from around 30 countries and territories worldwide in Asia, Europe, North America, the Caribbean and Africa.
Above, James Kenny, Tourism Ireland, receives the gold award for marketing from Victor Tseng, Vice President of Ctrip, a leading online travel agency.
Tourism Ireland beat off stiff competition to claim the top place in the marketing category – with CityNorth Hotel & Conference Centre taking the bronze in the same category, for its ‘China Ready’ preparation for Chinese visitors.
In 2017, we welcomed an estimated 70,000 Chinese visitors to the island of Ireland. Tourism Ireland aims to increase Chinese visitor numbers to 175,000 per year, by 2025 (+150% on 2017). Next month sees the commencement of two new services to Dublin from Beijing and Hong Kong – direct flights, representing around 1,700 airline seats each week – for the first time ever from the Asia Pacific Region to Ireland.
Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive, 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.
“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, CityNorth Hotel, said: “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.’’
Tourism Ireland has a strong network in China, with offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Chengdu. The organisation’s activity in China involves establishing and building relationships with influential intermediaries, including the travel trade, airlines and media – highlighting our natural attractions, cities, castles and proximity to Britain.
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.