The first graduates of an innovative tourism programme to help Irish businesses to compete in China today received their 'Chinese Tourist Welcome' quality label at Fáilte Ireland's HQ in Amiens Street, Dublin.
The Irish tourism industry is being urged to 'Get China Ready' in advance of the operation of the first direct flights from Hong Kong to Dublin in June 2018. Recognizing the vast potential of China, Fáilte Ireland - in cooperation with Tourism Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland - is delivering a China Welcome Program which aims to educate the industry about the opportunities available from the Chinese tourist market. This program is also in keeping with Fáilte Ireland's work to assist tourism businesses to diversify their market mix and reduce the risks currently posed by Brexit. (www.failteireland.ie/Brexit)
The first 'Chinese Tourist Welcome' certificates were awarded to:
The City North Hotel (Gormanston, Co. Meath) member of Select Hotel Group
The Westgrove Hotel (Clane, Co. Kildare) member of Select Hotel Group
The Select Hotel Group, Northern Ireland
The Hastings Group, Northern Ireland
Glen Keen Farm in Mayo
Cobh Heritage Centre, Cork
Newbridge Silverware, Kildare
Speaking at the event, Tara Kerry, Business Development Manager for Developing Markets at Fáilte Ireland said that China has tremendous capacity to deliver a hugely significant number of tourists to Ireland and it is vital that industry is in a position to welcome them. She added:
"The China Welcome Program is being put in place to ensure that our tourism industry is best positioned to capitalize on the much anticipated Cathay Pacific's upcoming direct flights from Hong Kong to Dublin in June 2018. Successful participants of the program acquire the 'Chinese Tourist Welcome 'Quality Label and become certified as a Chinese Tourist Welcome Quality Host for two years, which is renewable with branch-specific Chinese Tourist Welcome training. The pilot program covers modules such as Cultural Awareness, Routes to Market and Food & Beverage. "