Ireland to benefit from growing Chinese tourism market with new five-year multi-entry visa option
2019-07-01 13:56:35 -

By Staff Reporter


A new five-year multi-entry visa option for Chinese visitors to Ireland has been launched.


The scheme which was introduced on 1 July coincided with the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Ireland and China on 22 June 1979, is expected to draw more than 200,000 Chinese tourists over the next five years, according to Tourism Ireland.


Announcing the scheme, the Minister for Justice and Equality highlighted the significance of the Chinese tourism market and the attractiveness of Ireland to Chinese tourists.


“The establishment of diplomatic relations between Ireland and China 40 years ago today opened the door to stronger people to people and business to business links between our two countries,” said Minister Charlie Flanagan. “The introduction of direct flights from Ireland to mainland China by Hainan Airlines last year was very significant and I hope this new visa option will lead to the continued growth in this important bilateral relationship.”


China has the largest outbound travel market across the world, and Tourism Ireland is committed to seeing more Chinese people visit.


The Department of Justice said the current visa approval rate for Chinese visitors to Ireland is over 95 per cent. In 2018, the Visa Office of the Irish Embassy in Beijing issued over 7,500 visitor visas.


Justice added that the latest change to the visa regime will be a major support in growing this important tourism market.


“With a population of over 1.3bn people and a strong economy, China offers fantastic potential tourism links for Ireland,” said Minister Flanagan. “Our tourist industry is so important to communities in every county on the island of Ireland and I am hopeful that the changes I am announcing today will increase the number of Chinese visitors coming to Ireland in the months and years ahead.”


Chinese tourists who intend to avail of the visa option must have “a proven reliable travel history as evidenced by a visa previously granted by Ireland, the United Kingdom, the Schengen states, Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the USA and compliance with the terms of those visas”, Justice added in a statement.


“This is a further development of the very favourable Irish visa package for Chinese visitors that already includes access to the British Irish Visa Scheme and the Short Stay Visa Waiver Programme in addition to the standard Irish short stay visa.


“Visitors can currently avail of a one-year, two-year or three-year multi entry visa option. This new option will provide further flexibility for the regular holiday traveller (it is already available for business travellers). All applications can be made online.”

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