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Grand 2017 China Tourism Night Held in Dublin

On Friday, 10 November 2017, the China Tourism Night featuring "Beautiful China - Journey Along the Silk Road" was successfully hosted by China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) at Conrad Hotel Dublin, with over 300 people in attendance.

H.E. Dr. Yue Xiaoyong, Chinese Ambassador to Ireland, joined H.E. Mr. Seán Ó Fearghaíl, Ceann Comhairle of Dail Eireann, and Mr. Niall Gibbons, Chief Excutive of Tourism Ireland, in welcoming to the shores of Ireland the Chinese Tourism delegation headed by Mr. Gao Zhongyin, Director General of Shaanxi Tourism Commission.

Also in attendance were Mr. Ruairi Quinn, former Minister for Education and Skills and current Chairperson of the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA), Professor Wang Liming, Director of Irish Institute for Chinese Studies and concurrently Director of UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland, Ms. Dolores Kelly, Chairperson of All Party Group on China of Northern Ireland Assembly, Mr. James Kenny, China Country Manager of Tourism Ireland, Ms. Tara Kerry, Trade Engagement Manager of Fáilte Ireland, as well as the Chinese Embassy’s Political Counsellor Ms. Yang Hua and Commercial Counsellor Ms. Xue He.

Speaking in both English and Chinese, Ambassador Yue expressed his appreciation of the theme of the promotion event and took the opportunity to expound on the ancient Silk Road, the Silk Road Spirit, and the grand and robustly developing "One Belt One Road" Initiative, highlighting “togetherness” and “win-win cooperation” as the Initiative’s principal characteristics.

The Chinese Ambassador encouraged Irish people to go to China to experience its landscapes, culture and heritage. “China would provide the best services and best treats to the inward tourists in the years to come while China is building itself into a prosperous, strong, democratic, civilized and harmonious society according to the blueprint drawn up by President Xi Jinping at the 19th National Congress of CPC,” he said.

Mr. Gao Zhongyin, Head of the Chinese delegation, said in his speech that China is the world's fourth largest tourist destination country and the world's largest tourist source, the development of China's tourism industry in recent years has drawn a great attention from the world. In recent years China National Tourism Administration has been working together with all provincial-level administrations by launching tourism promotions with 10 respective themes, for instance, "the Silk Road", "the Great Wall" and "the Tea Road", to meet the needs of different international tourists.

Mr. Seán Ó Fearghaíl and Mr. Niall Gibbons both expressed with great enthusiasm their welcome and congratulations in their respective remarks. Very much impressed by the video clip "Beautiful China", the Ceann Comhairle highly praised the bilateral relations between Ireland and China. Referring to tourism as one of Ireland's most important pillar industries, the Irish Parliament Speaker said he was looking forward to Ireland's deeper involvement in the international cooperation under the framework of Belt and Road. “We hope that our bilateral tourism collaboration can grow as part of the Belt and Road cooperation.”

“In light of the very significant recent 19th CPC Congress which set out China’s global ambitions and path towards further economic development, and Ireland’s own continued strong economic growth, I believe that there is excellent potential for improved and mutually beneficial cooperation between our countries,” he said. “I am pleased to offer any assistance to further the bonds of friendship between our two nations.”

Mr. Niall Gibbons was excited about and warmly welcomed the biggest Chinese tourism delegation ever to come to Ireland. ''This year Ireland is expecting over 70,000 Chinese tourists to Ireland." He expressed his wish and readiness to enhance the tourism cooperation between Ireland and China in the years to come, emphasizing that 2019 would mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties.

At 2017 China Tourism Night, there were showcases presented by the tourism departments and tourist agencies from different parts of China, business talks with leaders and managerial representatives of Irish tour operators and hospitality sectors, and splendid performances by both Chinese and Irish artists, which all made the evening colourful and enjoyable.

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