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China votes Ireland number one holiday destination

Ireland has been named the number one holiday destination by Chinese travel company Ctrip.

Ireland voted China's favourite holiday destination. Image Copyright - Ireland Calling
Ctrip hold an annual awards ceremony in which various titles are handed out to the best destinations, airlines and resorts.

This year, Ireland was voted the number one destination for Chinese holidaymakers, beating off competition from Sweden, Turkey, Kenya and South Africa.

Tourism Ireland CEO, Niall Gibbons travelled to Shanghai to accept the award. He said: “We are absolutely delighted that Ireland has been singled out for this award – which is certainly a positive indication of the increasing awareness of Ireland among Chinese travellers,” he said.

“We believe that this market represents a significant opportunity for Irish tourism and we are committed to growing visitor numbers from China — from 17,000 visitors in 2012 to 50,000 per year, over the coming five years.

“I am confident that this award will … help to attract more Chinese visitors in 2014 and beyond.”

The Ctrip award comes shortly after Ireland was honoured by Global Traveller magazine as America’s favourite holiday destination for 2013.

The recent spree of awards will be music to the ears of the organisers of ‘The Gathering’, which ran throughout the whole of last year. It was a campaign of events and festivals up and down the country aiming to increase the number of visitors and give the economy and much needed injection of cash.

Click here to read more about Ireland’s top tourist attractions

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