Visit Britain launches "welcome China" initiative

15 May 2013

Visit Britain is launching a "welcome project for Chinese visitors" over the next year as it chases the growing market of business travel from China.

The national tourism agency has received funding to spread cultural awareness within the UK of what appeals to visitors from China.

Likely recommendations are to include tailored cuisine and signage, according to Visit Britain marketing director Joss Croft.

Croft said: "We need to up the ante in terms of how we invite and manage those visitors.

"This will be done through a resource, based in London, that will travel around the UK holding talks and so on at regional events working closely with UK inbound tourism departments and the Incoming Tour Operators Association to reach out to UK industry in how to deliver that world-class welcome to the Chinese visitor."

Chinese travellers tend to be big spenders, and the influx of visitors from the world's second largest economy into the UK increased by 20 per cent last year.

Therefore, Visit Britain has identified China's business community as a target market with great potential.

This is particularly important since corporate travel took a major dip in Britain during the financial crisis, and although there has been growth, pre-2008 levels of tourism have not resumed.

Croft identified two distinct types of business travellers from China - independent high net-worth individuals looking for investment opportunities, and businesses attracted by the burgeoning life science technologies industry that Britain is pioneering.

Chinese businesses became influential in the construction industry leading up to the Olympic games, and also demonstrate interest in UK pharmaceuticals, Croft said.

Alex Andersson

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