Wicklow County Council and Wicklow County Tourism travelled to China to promote Wicklow and strengthen the partnership with the Province of Hainan.
In July, Wicklow Council and Hainan signed a friendship agreement. Recently, a delegation went to visit Hainan and attended their International Tourism Island Carnival Exhibition.
Wicklow and Hainan are now looking at various cooperation opportunities in sectors such as education, tourism, agriculture, culture and arts, and film production.
Hainan is an island South of China’s mainland and is fighting to become one of the world’s top holiday destinations. The island welcomes some 70 million visitors annually.
Fred Verdier, from Wicklow Tourism, said: “although there are no direct flights with China, Ireland has managed to attract some 70,000 visitors this year.”
“New Zealand is roughly as far as Ireland from China and currently enjoys 70 direct flights, welcoming 300,000 Chinese visitors annually. Wicklow has a tremendous opportunity to figure on the ‘must do’ list for Chinese visitors.”
“The Chinese international tourism market is set to grow for the next ten years, and through our friendship agreement with Hainan, we are investing in attracting some of that huge market to the Garden of Ireland.”