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40,000 Chinese visitors arrive in Belfast annually from Scotland

By Michael McHugh

Around 40,000 Chinese tourists arrived in Belfast by ferry from Scotland last year, carrier Stena Line has revealed.

Stena Line has become the first passenger ferry company in Europe to achieve official recognition from tour operators in China and hopes that will further boost sales.

Growing numbers of middle-class tourists from the Asian country are travelling to Europe and many are taking coach trips using the Cairnryan to Belfast route, Stena added.

Stena's China Tourist Welcome certification represents an official travel status recognised by Chinese authorities.

Orla Noonan, the firm's travel commercial manager, said: "We made a number of changes onboard including updating our current services, products and communications to ensure that we were China-ready and focused on providing a special welcome to all of our Chinese passengers.

"We already welcome around 40,000 Chinese tourists annually on our Cairnryan-Belfast route and our latest certification means we are now recognised as the first in Europe to ensure that Chinese guests are treated to the best possible standards."

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