CTW Awards see a strong performance from Irish participants


The Centre for Competitiveness is delighted that our partners Tourism Ireland and City North Hotel were awarded gold and bronze respectively in the marketing category.

Held for the first time in partnership with leading Chinese online travel agency Ctrip, the 2018 CTW Chinese Tourist Welcome Awards were presented at a ceremony at ITB China in Shanghai on May 17th, 2018.

Having been organised annually by COTRI since 2004 and recognised as the leading awards programme in its field, the CTW Awards have seen more than 100 tourism service providers, Destination Management Organisations, National Tourism Organisations, retailers, marketing and communication companies, among many others, recognised for their services to the Chinese outbound tourism market.

Taking place for the 15th time, the CTW Awards winners were selected by a panel of Chinese and non-Chinese industry experts, who were able to evaluate entries from almost 30 countries and territories worldwide in Asia, Europe, North America, the Caribbean and Africa.

With the 2018 EU-China Tourism Year seeing destinations and tourism service providers across the continent enhancing their offers for the Chinese market, Europe was well-represented among this year’s winners.

Speaking upon receiving a Gold award in the Marketing category, Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons said: “A key element of our strategy to grow visitor numbers from China to Ireland has been the introduction of our new ‘China Ready’ programme. This programme aims to educate Irish tourism businesses about the opportunities available from China and to teach them about the specific requirements and needs of Chinese visitors.”

Noting the importance the Irish market has placed upon training, Gibbons furthered that: “CTW Chinese Tourist Welcome Quality Host certificates have already been awarded to several hotels, including City North Hotel (near Dublin) and Hastings Hotels (in Northern Ireland), as well as to popular visitor attractions such as Cobh Heritage Centre (in Co Cork), Glen Keen Farm (on the Wild Atlantic Way) and Newbridge Silverware (in Co Kildare). And, I am delighted to say that over 150 enterprises are expected to graduate in 2018, making the Irish welcome stronger than ever and more tailored to the needs of the Chinese traveller.”

These comments were echoed by Richard Matuzevich, Senior Manager in the Liaison Department at WTCF, who commented that: “WTCF is very honoured and proud to receive a CTW Chinese Tourist Welcome Award. This has been achieved through great team work and cooperation with our members/tourism organisations all over the world.”

Representing fellow Gold winners Merlin Entertainments, International Trade Account Manager Emily Ziolkowski expressed that the company was “thrilled” to win a prize, furthering: “Over the past few years a huge amount of effort has been put in to grow the outbound Chinese market to a number of our attractions. We are constantly looking at where we can develop and grow and how we can welcome more Chinese visitors into our attractions.”

CTW Award Winners 2018: 


Gold: Tourism Ireland

Silver: Royal Museums Greenwich

Bronze: City North Hotel / Mustard Seed Oy


Product Innovation

Gold: Tallink Silja Oy

Silver: Federation of Tourism Walloon Brabant

Bronze: Beiwei 55˚


Service Quality

Gold: Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism

Silver: Dan Hotels Israel

Bronze: EETS Budapest / Henri Willig Cheese



Gold: Merlin Entertainments plc.

Silver: Pan Ukraine

Bronze: Schönbrunn Palace


Overall Performance

Gold: World Tourism Cities Federation

Silver: Paris Aéroport Charles de Gaulle / Macao Government Tourism Office

Bronze: Turismo de Portugal


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