Pubs, hurling and the Cranberries used to lure Chinese here

Ireland showcased as tourism destination on China’s most popular online talk show

Pubs, hurling and the Cranberries are among a list of props being used to market Ireland as a tourism destination to the Chinese.

They figure in series of features on Ireland to be broadcast on China’s popular talk show, Morning Call.

The show, which is hosted by folk music star Gao Xiaosong, has one of the country’s biggest online audiences, and the move to showcase Ireland is seen as a coup for the tourism industry here.

Last month, Mr Gao and his film crew were brought on a bespoke tour of Ireland by members of Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland, which took in Connemara, Dublin's Trinity College, the Irish Whiskey Museum and the Oscar Wilde Statue at Merrion Square.


The Chinese delegation were also brought to an All-Ireland hurling final, met the Cranberries in Limerick and went on a pub crawl in Dublin.

China is the world's largest outbound travel market and is one of the key overseas markets for Ireland. Last year up to 65,000 Chinese visited Ireland.

"This is a fantastic coup for Irish tourism and will bring Ireland to the attention of millions of Chinese viewers," Ciara Sugrue, Fáilte Ireland's head of international publicity said.

“ It is hugely important for Ireland to gain greater exposure in the Chinese market place and we were delighted to assist this popular Chinese talk show by showcasing the best Ireland has to offer.”

Mr Gao said: “I do feel I should have come to Ireland at an early age, to enjoy the pubs, music and literature. My trip here was inspiring. I felt the strong Irish hospitality and the Irish humour left me with a lasting warm impression.”

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times