Ireland named ‘best self-drive touring destination’ by Chinese travel firm

Some 200 million high-spending tourists from China to travel overseas by 2020

The citation mentioned Ireland’s stunning routes and great driving experiences, including the Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coastal Route.

The citation mentioned Ireland’s stunning routes and great driving experiences, including the Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coastal Route.

 

Ireland has been named the ‘best overseas self-drive touring destination’ at an awards ceremony in China.

The award is a significant development for Ireland as it seeks a slice of the rapidly expanding Chinese tourism market - estimated to amount to 200 million people by 2020, double what it was in 2014.

Research suggests visitors from China tend to stay longer and spend more than many other visitors, placing them in the same high value category as visitors from North America.

The Chinese tourism awards were organised by travel giant Ctrip - the leading online travel agent in China and the second largest travel agency in the world.

At an awards ceremony in Shanghai, Ireland was one of four destinations listed in the ‘best overseas self-drive touring’ category - along with Australia, Portugal and Guam.

The citation mentioned Ireland’s stunning routes and great driving experiences, including the Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coastal Route.

James Kenny, Tourism Ireland’s manager for China, said the win was recognition the island of Ireland “really stands out from other competitor destinations - so this award is really good news as we roll out our busy promotional drive for 2018 here in China.”

Tourism Ireland has focussed on building awareness in China. It estimated that 70,000 Chinese people visited the island of Ireland last year - an increase on the figure of 30,000 in 2014.

The Ctrip awards for the various categories are decided upon by votes from over 25 million users and by a judging panel.

Tourism Ireland has offices has offices across China and is also focusing on Hong Kong, since the announcement of the new Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong to Dublin, which will begin in June.