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Glen Keen Farm developing links with China

Thursday, 7th December, 2017 1:19pm

Glen Keen Farm developing links with China

The guests from China pictured on their visit to Glen Keen Farm.

FOLLOWING on from the successful trip to the World Bridge Tourism Conference and ITB in Shanghai, China, last May, Glen Keen Farm has succeeded in qualifying Mayo as a quality visitor destination for the Chinese market.

Louisburgh-based Glen Keen Farm, along with Game of Thrones, Winterfell Tours NI, were the only chosen representatives from the island of Ireland to attend the World Bridge tourism event in Shanghai in preparation for the EU China Tourism Year 2018. As a direct result, Glen Keen Farm has facilitated and arranged over 150 trial visits to Co. Mayo and the farm, ranging from leisure, special interest travel, and a Chinese government delegation, paving the way for product design and the development of itineraries to coincide with the launch of the new direct flight routes from China to Ireland in 2018.

One of the Glen Keen Farm strategies for the development of tourism and trade with China is the embracement and celebration of China’s Belt and Road initiative, building friendship, trade, investment and tourism that is mutually beneficial to both countries.

Glen Keen was chosen to attend the second World Bridge Tourism Conference in London in November, where a number of business to business meetings were successfully conducted for promoting it and Mayo as a quality visitor destination for Chinese visitors.

During the conference, Catherine O’Grady-Powers, Glen Keen Farm, was invited as a keynote speaker for the EU Travel Partnerships Webinars programme on the successful results Glen Keen Farm has achieved with the Chinese market, and the European Commission has chosen Glen Keen Farm as a case study for positive Chinese market penetration.

The webinars are aired and viewed across Europe - to view the most recent webinar visit https://youtu.be/mg9kBBD8jLM and see www.eutravelpartnerships.org for more information on the programme.

After the successful conference in London, Glen Keen Farm was invited to attend the China Tourism Night held in Dublin on November 10. Journey Along the Silk Road was successfully hosted by the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) at the Conrad Hotel, with over 300 people in attendance.

H.E. Dr. Yue Xiaoyong, Chinese Ambassador to Ireland, joined Mr. Seán Ó Fearghaíl, Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann, and Mr. Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, in welcoming the Chinese tourism delegation, headed by Mr. Gao Zhongyin, director general of Shaanxi Tourism Commission.

In both English and Chinese, Ambassador Yue expressed his appreciation of the theme of the promotional event and took the opportunity to expand on the ancient Silk Road, the Silk Road Spirit, and the development of the One Belt One Road initiative, highlighting 'togetherness' and 'win-win cooperation' as the initiative’s principal characteristics.

Shortly after the China Tourism Night in Dublin, Glen Keen Farm welcomed a two-day delegation of six government officials visiting Europe from Huanghsi City in the Hubei Provence, which has a population of approximately 800 million people.

On the first day of their visit, Catherine and Jim Powers were honoured to host the delegation visit to Glen Keen Farm for a celebration of friendship and cultural exchange.

On day two, the delegates, escorted by Catherine O'Grady-Powers, visited Westport House, the Michael Davitt Museum and attended a very successful meeting with members of Mayo Local Enterprise Office, Mayo County Council and GMIT. Delegates enjoyed a stay at the Westport Coast Hotel and a night of live traditional entertainment at The Porterhouse Bar, Westport.

Results driven, Glen Keen Farm intend to increase tourism and trade to Ireland from China, specifically to Co. Mayo. The potential benefits of their efforts are exciting and could have a positive impact on the socio-economic bottom line in the west of Ireland, putting Co. Mayo at the forefront of the China Belt and Road initiative.

To commence the EU–China Tourism Year 2018, Glen Keen Farm will attend the official opening at the Doge’s Palace in Venice, Italy, by special invitation of the European Commission.

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