As VisitBritain gets set to host its largest ever tourism mission to China next week, new research shows that Chinese perceptions of Britain as a tourist destination are stronger than ever.
More than 70 travel trade and industry suppliers from the UK including hotels, retailers and tour operators are set to showcase what makes Britain a GREAT destination to Chinese buyers at VisitBritain's annual ‘Destination Britain China' event, this year being held in Beijing from Monday 23rd to Wednesday 25th November.
More than 7,000 business appointments are due to take place during the three-day trade fair, giving more than 100 buyers from 14 cities across China, as well as Hong Kong, the chance to see the latest tourism offerings from across the UK with suppliers from Oxford, Canterbury, Harrow and London, to Leeds, the Lake District, Northumberland and Inverness to name a few.
VisitBritain's tourism mission to China comes a week after new research showed that Chinese perceptions of the UK are better than ever. In the 2015 Anholt GfK Nations Brand Index study China gave the UK a big boost for its ‘welcome' scoring it third out of 50 countries, up 11 places from 2014. China also ranked the UK first overall for culture and second overall for not only tourism but also as a place they'd like to visit if money was no object.
VisitBritain Director Patricia Yates, who is leading the 70-strong trade delegation to China, said:
"China is the world's largest outbound market and a huge tourism opportunity for Britain, so it's really great to see the increasingly positive Chinese perceptions of the UK as a travel destination. We saw numbers from China increase by 28% in the first six months of this year and have ambitions to double the spend from Chinese visitors to £1 billion by 2020. Chinese visitors are already some of our highest spending - spending an average £2,688 each per visit.
"Our Destination Britain China event builds on this work by giving British travel suppliers the chance to forge valuable business connections with the Chinese travel trade, showcase the latest tourism offerings from their local areas, and ultimately inspire more visitors from China to come to Britain and explore all our nations and regions."
Destination Britain China has been running since 2009. As well as doing business with top travel buyers in China, delegates at this year's event will also hear about the latest international travel market trends, what the UK is doing to attract more international visitors to all its nations and regions, alongside seminars and networking to boost knowledge of Britain as a tourist destination.
VisitBritain is also set to launch its updated GREAT China Welcome directory during the event. It lists the more than 300 businesses that have joined its programme to date to build Britain as the most welcoming destination in Europe for Chinese visitors by providing information in Mandarin or Cantonese for example, and adapting their products for the Chinese market and culture.
VisitBritain is also promoting Britain as a destination of choice in China through its ongoing Culture is GREAT campaign, with the latest phase launched in October. The £1.3 million social media campaign promotes memorable moments visitors can only get in Britain with Chinese visitors invited to create, share and upload images of their own experiences. Known in China as ‘Enjoy the GREAT fun times in Britain', these videos and images are being shared globally by VisitBritain to inspire fellow travellers to come and explore all of the UK. The campaign runs until the end of December and aims to reach more than 100 million people.
Other recent developments to promote the UK's competitive tourism offer in China include the announcement in October of the first direct airline route from Beijing to Manchester. The new route, operated by Hainan Airlines, becomes operational from May 2016 and will offer up to four direct flights per week from Beijing to Manchester, making it easier for Chinese visitors to explore the UK's northern regions. The UK Government has also announced a new two-year multiple-entry visitor visa for tourists from China from January 2016 costing £85, the same as the current standard six-month visa.
Also in October, a new Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the UK and Chinese Governments to hold annual talks on tourism with the China National Tourism Administration. The aim is to increase strategic co-operation on tourism through improving travel connections between the two countries and promoting relationships between the UK and Chinese travel trade.
Notes to editors:
Delegates attending Destination Britain China 2015
An English Collection
Asia Europe TCI
Beiwei 55 Degrees Travel
Big Bus Tours
Chelsea Football Club
China Britain Travel Group
China Perfect Travel
City Sightseeing Worldwide
English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues
Ganten Scotland Ltd
GEG Travel (UK)
Gretna Green Famous Blacksmiths Shop
House of Hanover
House of Turin Ltd
Jacobite Cruises Ltd
Lake District Estates (Ullswater Steamers)
Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway Co. Ltd
Let's Travel Services Limited
London - London & Partners
Merlin Entertainments Group
Millennium hotels & resorts
Mountain Goat Tours & Holidays
Piccadilly & St James's
Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway
Resorts World Birmingham
Sally Everton Associates
The Alnwick Garden
The Beatles Story
The Cavern Club
The London Pass
The National Trust for Scotland
The Place Aparthotel, Manchester
The View from The Shard
The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction
Tourism South East
Travel-sea International Services
UK Chinese Tour Guides Association
UK Visa & Immigration Service
VOSAIO Travel Ltd.
Wangping Travel Limited
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
Westfield Europe Ltd.
Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum & Tour
Windermere Lake Cruises Ltd
World Duty Free Group
For more information please contact Tracey Edginton at VisitBritain: firstname.lastname@example.org
/ 020 7578 1098 or 07974 111 076
For more information contact:
VisitBritain Media Teampressandpr@visitbritain.com