IRELAND has been voted the top tourist destination among Chinese visitors, according to a leading Asian newspaper.
The Emerald Isle was seen as the hottest place to visit last year, according to the 'Oriental Morning Post', which sponsored the World Travel Awards in Shanghai yesterday.
Some 400,000 newspaper readers and travel specialists voted Ireland the "most popular destination of 2010".
Ireland is also seen as a "Destination with the Most Potential for 2011" in recent poll conducted by the Beijing newspaper "Life Style".
The positive response comes after Tourism Ireland launched a major marketing campaign there last year.
Our beleaguered tourism industry suffered massive losses last year due to a significant decline in mainly UK and US visitors. Statistics released by the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation at the end of 2011 revealed that the number of overseas visitors here hit a 12-year low last year.
The number of visits was down by one million over 2009 to 5.5 million, which translates to a loss of €1.7bn in overseas revenue. The number of American and UK visitors dropped substantially during the busiest tourism period between July and September last year, said the Central Statistics Office.