A delegation from Wicklow County Council and tourism interests along with a troupe of musicians and performers are visiting Hainan Province to promote the county and its attractions.
The group is attending the Hainan International Tourism Island Carnival and the 2017 Hainan World Leisure Tourism Expo which is taking place in Hainan International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Haikou, China.
Wicklow is one of 30 international delegations to be provided with an exhibition stand at the Expo at which 1,000 exhibitors representing the travel trade, attractions and hotels, will set up stall.
The Expo will be attended by major inbound and outbound tour operators from all over China. It is anticipated that 150,000 travel professionals, as well as domestic and foreign buyers, will attend the event.
The delegation will also visit Shanghai where they will attend a number of meetings with Tourism Ireland, a variety of tour operators and Government Officials.
According to Counselor Edward Timmins, Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council, “The invitation to the Hainan International Tourism Island Carnival and World Leisure Tourism Expo could not have come at a better time. Visitor numbers from China to Ireland are rapidly increasing and set to rise further in 2018 when Cathay Pacific will operate direct flights from Hong Kong to Dublin in June of next year and it is anticipated that Hainan Airlines will operate flights from Beijing to Dublin within the year also.”
“We are fortunate to have the support and assistance of students of Hainan University who are part of the Hainan /Dublin Institute of Technology Programme and who have studied in Dublin and have been to Wicklow, to help us to promote County Wicklow and indeed Ireland. “
2018 is European Union China Tourism year. It is intended that during the year, through a variety of projects, the countries of Europe will develop a better understanding of the needs and preferences of visitors from the Peoples Republic of China. This opportunity will give Ireland an excellent head start.