Wednesday 17 January 2018

Xi pledges to send more tourists our way

Barry Duggan

THE future president of China, Xi Jinping, recalled seeing the Cliffs of Moher in a 'Harry Potter' film as he visited the world-famous beauty spot on a glorious day -- and promised to send more tourists to the west coast.

Even the wind died down for Mr Xi as he stood on the main viewing area near O'Brien's Tower and looked across the Atlantic Ocean towards the Aran Islands.

Katherine Webster, the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience director, said the weather made it the "best day so far this year".

She explained the geology of the cliffs to Mr Xi.

"He said he remembered seeing the Cliffs of Moher in 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince'. He asked about the cave which featured in the film," Ms Webster said. "He was very impressed by the natural landscape and the unspoilt nature of it."

And he promised to send more Chinese tourists our way. "He said they would advertise us in China -- he said that. I think it would be part of his visit," Ms Webster said.

"I talked a bit about our growth in Chinese visitor numbers. I told him we have seen substantial growth in the last year-and-a-half -- particularly since the Visa requirement changed, as Chinese visitors can now obtain a combined Visa for Ireland and the UK," she added.

Meanwhile, the body of a man was found hanging from a gate at the Cliffs of Moher less than an hour before the Chinese Vice President arrived. The man, believed to be a Polish in his 30's, was found dead at O'Brien's Tower. Foul play is not suspected.

Irish Independent

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