Tourism Ireland has joined forces with WeChat, the hugely popular messaging, social media and mobile payment app in China.

The partnership involves a new mini-programme on WeChat, called ‘Explore Ireland’ – designed to make it as easy as possible for prospective Chinese visitors to choose the island of Ireland.

The online guide features information on visas for travel to Ireland, festivals happening here right throughout the year, hotels, visitor attractions, great filming locations to visit, the perfect honeymoon spots, a map navigation, as well as a translation function. Chinese visitors to the island of Ireland can also complete their tax refund on any purchases made here within the mini-programme.

China is the largest outbound travel market in the world and one that Tourism Ireland is committed to growing over the coming years. In 2019, Tourism Ireland announced its intention to double its marketing investment in China, to €1 million, and to also double its marketing team to 12 – to grow Chinese visitor numbers to 200,000 by 2025.

“Given the importance of social media in China, we are delighted to partner with WeChat to raise awareness of the island of Ireland among Chinese travellers,” said Aisling McDermott, Tourism Ireland’s Manager Asia and Middle East. “We’re confident that our new ‘Explore Ireland’ mini-programme will prove to be an effective way of reaching prospective Chinese visitors – using up-to-date, practical and engaging content to ensure Ireland stands out from other destinations.”

In 2020, Tourism Ireland will once again roll out a busy programme of publicity, digital and social media activity, to continue to grow Chinese visitor numbers to the island of Ireland. The organisation will also continue to work closely with leading online travel agents and tour operators.

Opening page of the ‘Explore Ireland’ mini-programme on WeChat.WeCha

As CWA develops its own heritage and cultural tourism offerings we will be encouraging local Chinese and BME groups to promote their events and festivals such as Chinese New Year to international audiences. The opportunity to reach the Chinese market is too good to miss and our local businesses including tour guides and unique Chinese-NI Fusion food and events are a great addition to any tourist itinerary.