Major Irish Tourism Businesses Now China Ready
The latest batch of Irish tourism businesses to complete Fáilte Ireland’s Get China Ready programme have received their certificates from the national tourism development authority. Among those receiving certification were the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin’s Marker Hotel, Cork’s Castlemartyr Resort, the InterContinental Hotel in Ballsbridge and Limerick’s Strand Hotel. Also receiving accreditation were the first restaurants in Ireland to undertake the programme, Dublin’s Fire Restaurant & Lounge and Sole Seafood & Grill. The China Ready Programme is aimed at educating Irish tourism businesses about the opportunities available from the Chinese tourist market and is part of Fáilte Ireland’s work to assist tourism businesses with market diversification and reduce the risks currently posed by Brexit.
The Programme is an initiative of Fáilte Ireland in cooperation with Tourism Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland.
Presenting the certificates, Paul Keeley, Director of Commercial Development at Fáilte Ireland said that Irish tourism businesses are beginning to see an increase in the number of Chinese visitors since direct flights from China started in June 2018. He emphasised: “China is one of the fastest-growing outbound travel markets in the world with numbers predicted to grow to 200 million by 2020. Last year, an estimated 70,000 Chinese visitors travelled to Ireland but with the advent of the new direct flights from Beijing and Hong Kong that number is expected to substantially increase. The aim of the ‘China Ready Programme’ is to ensure that the Chinese visitor is warmly welcomed to Ireland and that tourism businesses are prepared and culturally aware of the requirements of our Chinese visitors.”
Paul Carty, Managing Director, The Guinness Storehouse said:“The Guinness Storehouse is delighted to be Dublin’s first Visitor Attraction to receive Fáilte Ireland ‘China Ready’ accreditation. The Guinness Storehouse has been active in the Chinese market for almost 8 years and in that time, the market has grown from virtually 0 to almost 50,000 visitors. The Fáilte Ireland ‘China Ready’ training programme has given our team a deeper and highly practical understanding of the cultural differences and needs of the Chinese visitor. For us, engaging with China is a long term commitment and this excellent training programme ensures we can continue to extend a warm and personal welcome to our Chinese visitors.”
Ciara Hanley, Director of Sales and Marketing for the InterContinental Hotel in Dublin emphasised:“I am delighted that the hotel is now the first five-star hotel in Ireland on the Fáilte Ireland China Ready Programme. We are looking forward to the coming months and welcoming a new market to Ireland.”
Stephen O Connor, General Manager of the Strand Hotel in Limerick added:“Over the last number of weeks the team at the Limerick Strand Hotel have worked very hard to achieve this special accreditation and we are delighted to be the first hotel in Limerick to do so. This programme has been a fascinating journey for our team and we really delighted to gain an understanding of the cultural needs of our Chinese guests so that they have a wonderful experience but also a great opinion of Ireland as a tourism destination. This also coincides perfectly with the EU-China Year of Tourism 2018 initiative, for which we are delighted to offer our support. Recent data released by Fáilte Ireland has shown us how important the Chinese tourism market is becoming and the Limerick Strand Hotel is fully ready to welcome our Chinese guests”
Aisling McCormick, Business Development Manager at Castlemartyr Resort said:“We really enjoyed taking part in the China Ready Programme by Fáilte Ireland and are particularly proud to be the first Hotel in Cork to do so, we’re excited to use these tools, put positive changes in place and welcome more Chinese guests to Castlemartyr Resort in the future.”