A group of Chinese journalists and National Geographic photographers has been visiting Northern Ireland. Their visit is part of a new Tourism Ireland campaign in China – in partnership with vivo (one of the biggest mobile phone brands in China) and National Geographic (China edition) magazine.
Their visit is part of the fifth annual “Images in Cities” campaign, run by vivo and National Geographic, which involves bringing photographers and videographers to a different destination each year. Timed to coincide with the launch of a new vivo mobile phone, the journalists and photographers have been capturing footage – using the new phone – in Belfast, along the Causeway Coastal Route and at the Dark Hedges. They will then share their content with their 800 million followers on social media. Their itinerary was designed by Tourism NI.
James Kenny, Tourism Ireland’s Manager China, said: “We’re really excited about our partnership with vivo and National Geographic – which will bring wonderful photos and footage of Northern Ireland to an estimated 800 million people around China.
“Last year, we welcomed an estimated 90,000 Chinese visitors to the island of Ireland in 2017; Tourism Ireland aims to grow Chinese visitor numbers to 175,000 per year, by 2025. There are now two direct flights to Dublin – from Beijing with Hainan Airlines and from Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific. Given that there’s a proven direct correlation between access and growth in visitor numbers, we believe these new flights will be a major game-changer in growing visitor numbers from China.”
The “Images in Cities” campaign also includes:
- an exhibition of the best photos captured during this week’s visit, in three Chinese cities, which will be seen by an estimated 15,000 people;
- a 30-second ad on the Travel Channel, one of the top 20 TV stations in China;
- microblogging during and after the visit to Northern Ireland – by vivo and National Geographic – viewed by their millions of subscribers; and
- extensive social media activity – with stories and images of Northern Ireland being shared on the WeChat accounts of both vivo and National Geographic, reaching around 100,000 people.
The group flew to Dublin courtesy of Hainan Airlines, on the new direct flight from Beijing, which was launched this summer.