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Chinese tour operators during their visit to Clare as guests of Tourism Ireland.

East meets West in The Banner County

Eleven Chinese tour operators visited Co Clare during the past week where they experienced first-hand some of the many things to see and do in The Banner County. They were guests of Tourism Ireland.

They took the ferry from Tarbert to Killimer and continued to Kilkee, where they enjoyed lunch at The Strand Bistrot. Then it was on to the Cliffs of Moher and Bunratty Castle & Folk Park.

Amanda Burns, Tourism Ireland’s manager Asia, said: “China is an important emerging travel market and one that Tourism Ireland is committed to growing over the coming years. Working with Chinese tour operators and travel agents is an important part of our annual promotional programme.

“The aim of this week’s fact-finding visit is to increase awareness of Clare and Ireland among these influential travel professionals, to help secure a greater share of the 3+ million Chinese visitors who travel to Europe each year. Tourism Ireland aims to grow the number of Chinese visitors to the island of Ireland to 50,000 per year, by 2017.”

A key message for Tourism Ireland in China this year is the British-Irish Visa Scheme which was launched last autumn and enables Chinese travellers to visit both Ireland and the UK on a single visa of either country.

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