Britain’s national tourism body VisitBritain has today (August 17) opened a new office in Guangzhou, China to attract more Chinese visitors to Britain.
The office was officially opened by UK Minister for Asia Alok Sharma this morning at an event in Guangzhou. It is the first time the national tourism body has had a presence south of Mainland China.
The Guangzhou office will work closely with VisitBritain’s teams in Beijing and Shanghai to promote Britain as the ‘destination of choice’ for Chinese visitors through international marketing campaigns, annual trade events and the GREAT China Welcome Programme which helps UK tourism businesses appeal to visitors from China.
VisitBritain Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said:
“China is the world’s largest outbound market and a huge tourism opportunity for Britain, last year moving into our top 10 most valuable inbound markets for the first time.
“The new office in Guangzhou will magnify our reach in China as we position Britain at the top of the list of ‘must go now’ destinations for Chinese visitors by showcasing the breadth of experiences on offer across the country – from shopping in our world-class boutiques and department stores to touring the countryside and visiting iconic locations from film and literature.”
Recent developments to promote the UK’s competitive tourism offer in China include the launch of the first direct airline route from Beijing to Manchester in June, operated by Hainan Airlines, as well as the new visitor visa pilot scheme for Chinese nationals introduced in January by the UK Government.
In May VisitBritain signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between VisitBritain and HNA Group, to mark the start of a partnership to attract more visitors from China to the UK.
Last year was a record-breaker for inbound tourism to Britain from China with visits up 46 per cent on 2014 to 270,000, and spend up 18% to £586 million.
Chinese visitors are some of the UK’s highest spending, they also stay longer and travel more widely across Britain than other international visitors. VisitBritain has ambitions to double spend from Chinese visitors to £1 billion by 2020.
For more information contact:
VisitBritain Media Teampressandpr@visitbritain.com