Golden Week is a prime times of travel for Chinese holidaymakers and more than ever are choosing to visit Britain. China moved into Britain’s top 10 most valuable inbound visitor markets for the first time last year with visits reaching a record-breaking 270,000, up 46% on 2014, and spend up 18% to £586 million.
Earlier this month VisitBritain launched a major campaign in China to boost tourism to the UK. The two-month campaign ‘Britain, Home of Amazing Moments’ digital marketing campaign is being rolled out across China’s popular social and digital channels to showcase the amazing moments that can only be had in Britain.
VisitBritain Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said:
“The UK is offering great value for Chinese travellers at the moment. By showcasing the diversity of incredible experiences across our nations and regions, from shopping in our world-class boutiques and department stores to touring the countryside and visiting iconic locations from film and literature, we want to inspire even more Chinese travellers to put Britain at the top of their list as a ‘must-go-now’ destination and book a trip to come and discover their own amazing moments.”
The first phase of the campaign gets underway with a four-week partnership with Hainan Airlines, part of HNA Group, and Tuniu.com, one of China’s leading online travel agents, to convert the aspiration to visit into bookings by making it easier for Chinese travellers to book a holiday to Britain.
Tuniu.com is promoting the campaign through its digital channels with a focus on Hainan Airlines direct Beijing to Manchester flight, providing visitors with a gateway to the north of England, launched in June this year.
The partnership follows VisitBritain’s memorandum of understanding with HNA Group earlier this year to attract more visitors from China to regional Britain.
Ms Balcombe said that China, as the world’s largest outbound market, was a huge tourism opportunity for Britain.
“Britain is a top destination for Chinese travellers and we want to give them a world-class visitor experience. As well as making it easier to get here with increased route development and airline seat capacity, we’re working with our partners to get great tactical deals in market and increasing the services that visitors experience through our GREAT China Welcome Programme.”
Other developments to promote the UK’s competitive tourism offer in China include the new two-year multiple-entry visitor visa for Chinese tourists introduced in January by the UK Government.
The ‘Britain, Home of Amazing Moments’ marketing campaign is part of the UK Government’s global GREAT Britain campaign, which showcases the very best of what Britain has to offer as a place to visit, study and do business.
At the end of August the UK Prime Minister Theresa May launched a ‘Tourism Action Plan’ to ensure that Britain remains a world-beating destination for visitors from across the globe. And official figures released last week show that July was the highest month ever for inbound tourism to the UK with 3.8 million visits, up 2 per cent on July last year.
VisitBritain has ambitions to double spend from Chinese visitors to £1 billion annually by 2020.
Inbound tourism is worth £26 billion annually to the UK economy.