Tourism Ireland and VisitBritain have announced a new agreement to boost tourist numbers from long-haul markets such as China and India.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, and Sandie Dawe, CEO of VisitBritain. 

The announcement was made in London at an event organised by the British Irish Chamber of Commerce to mark this week's State Visit of President Michael D Higgins to Britain.

Under the agreement, Tourism Ireland and VisitBritain will work more closely together, particularly in long-haul markets outside of Europe and North America, to promote Ireland and Britain as destinations to be visited as part of a single holiday.

In doing so, the MoU aims to increase both visitor numbers and revenue to Ireland and Britain from long-haul markets. 

"For Ireland, the majority of our overseas visitors come from Great Britain, North America and Mainland Europe, and while this will continue, it is important that we expand our focus beyond these markets and look to the long-term opportunities presented by new tourism markets, including the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), which we believe will play an increasingly important role for travel and tourism," Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland said. 

"Given that visitors from these markets are travelling considerable distances, and often want to include more than one destination on their itinerary, it makes sense for Tourism Ireland to co-operate with VisitBritain, to target people travelling to Britain and encourage them to visit the island of Ireland as part of their trip, and vice versa," Mr Gibbons concluded.