Tourism is one of our fair country’s most important economic sectors! It currently supports an estimated 260,000 jobs in communities nationwide.
However despite its incredible growth over the last few years, the tourism sector in Ireland has in fact started to slow down. This is no surprise really, when you consider the backdrop of Brexit and the political uncertainty it’s bringing with it.
This means we need to start looking closer and, perhaps, delve into markets we have yet to explore fully. One market we need to explore, according to Paul Kelly of Failte Ireland, is China.
Chinese tourists currently make up 220 billion in tourism revenue, which is 20% of global tourism spend. And this is continuing to grow! 12.7 million Chinese tourists come to Europe every year – we in Ireland only get about 1% of those tourists.
In contrast, our share of US tourists is 10% – there’s a huge opportunity for us to grow Chinese tourism in Ireland. There’s no better time for us to start exploring different markets, specifically the likes of the Chinese market, in which there is so much evident opportunity.
We feel as though this opportunity should be grasped by all of us within the tourism industry. As a hotelier, try and consider what you can do to amplify this. We’ve recently added Chinese to the list of 17 languages offered within our Website Builder product, with clients like Hotel Westport having already enabled Chinese as a language. Chinese joins other languages available in our Website Builder such as French, English, Italian and Dutch. We think it’s important to continually develop and innovate in this ever-changing market, and we have to start making steps towards accommodating the Chinese market if we want to see necessary growth.
Our MD William Cotter says: “Brexit has brought into focus the need for many of us to diversify our business further and broaden our target audience to include the largely untapped Chinese traveller. With this in mind, Net Affinity have added several new languages to our Website Builder product, including Chinese, which brings the total number of available languages to 17. This is exciting news for clients using our Website Builder product in that they can now activate a new language within minutes, and be ready and open for business in the language of choice for their core target markets.”