Tourism Ireland heading to China

The sales mission is bound for four cities next month...

Tourism Ireland heading to China

Flag of China | File photo

Tourism Ireland is set to launch a charm offensive on China next month in an effort to grow tourism from the world's second largest economy.

The sales mission was announced today and will take in trips to Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, as well as Hong Kong; a first for Tourism Ireland.

The aim is to increase the number of annual Chinese visitors to the island from 45,000 last year to 50,000 by 2017.

China's travel market is rapidly expanding and is now the largest outbound travel market in the world. Some 120 million Chinese people travel overseas every year, spending $165 billion.

Tourism Ireland will be on Chinese soil between May 15th and 20th, with companies taking part including Chinabridge, the Guinness Storehouse, EG Travel, Kildare Village, Limerick Travel, The Merrion Hotel, National Trust Giant's Causeway, Stena Line and Titanic Belfast.