China’s top travel blogger puts Ireland on the map
Chinese travel blogger Fan Yibo at Bunratty Castle. Photograph: Tourism Ireland
Ireland’s profile is growing in China, especially since the visit of the country’s number one travel blogger, Fan Yibo.
Known as Map of Seven Colours on Sina Weibo, the Chinese version of the banned social network Twitter, he has almost 381,000 fans on Weibo, and his blog has received more than 77 million clicks to date.
This was his first visit to Ireland and during his trip, arranged by Tourism Ireland, he visited Dublin, Newgrange and the Hill of Tara, Co Meath, as well as other major attractions such as the Rock of Cashel, the Cliffs of Moher, Bunratty Castle, the National Park in Killarney and Blarney Castle.
“Both the cities and countryside are so beautiful. This land indeed gives you a feeling of belonging and you can live in seclusion in the forests and mountains,” he enthused.
“I have not tired of appreciating beauty at the end of trip,” he said. His Irish visit was part of a two-month tour of Europe.
As we have reported on Asia Briefing on numerous occasions, outbound travel from China has grown significantly in recent years, with the number of international trips growing from 10 million in 2000 to 83 million in 2012.
Forecasts for the next decade suggest an even greater rise, and China is now the third most lucrative outbound travel market in the world, with Chinese people spending €54.4 billion per year on travel.
“The publicity value of his articles and posts is fantastic – they will be read by hundreds of thousands of potential holidaymakers,” said Amanda Burns, Tourism Ireland’s manager for the Asia region.
Meanwhile, in Ireland, Brown Thomas will host a networking breakfast for members of the Ireland-China Association in its Grafton Street store on September 18th, which will include a presentation by store director Mark Limby about how BT focuses on services to Chinese customers.