• Cyril McAree

Chinese Travel Agents Learn All About Ireland


Some 50 Chinese travel professionals have been learning all about Ireland – at a training seminar in the city of Xi’an in north-west China, organised by Tourism Ireland and Finnair.

PIC SHOWS: Robert Ohrnberg, Finnair (seated, centre); James Kenny, Tourism Ireland (seated, third right); Zhao An (seated, second right) and Zhang Yan (seated, right), both Finnair, with the travel agents in Xi’an who took part in the training seminar on Ireland.

The group taking part in the training were travel agents who sell holidays to Ireland, Europe and the US, using Finnair flights. Finnair offers good connections to Ireland – including from Xi’AN (from April to October), Nanjing and Chongqing (year-round).

Travel agents continue to play an important role in China, with Chinese travellers preferring to use a travel agent for a number of reasons, including convenience, language barriers, visa preparation and knowledge gaps. The objective of the training seminar was to engage with Chinese travel professionals who are currently selling Ireland, or who have strong potential to sell the destination – and to encourage them to extend their Ireland offering, or to include Ireland for the first time, in their brochures and programmes.

James Kenny, Tourism Ireland’s Manager China, said: “We were delighted to partner with Finnair once again this year, to inform and enthuse key travel agents in the city of Xi’an about Ireland. During the training seminar, they heard all about Dublin and Belfast, the Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coastal Route, as well filming locations used in Game of Thrones and Star Wars.

“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.”

Tourism Ireland and Finnair will run a similar training seminar for travel agents in Nanjing later this year.

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.

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