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Britain seeks to attract more Chinese tourists
British tourism industry showed its ambition on Wednesday to make changes in a bid to attract more visitors from China.
British tourism industry showed its ambition on Wednesday to make changes in a bid to attract more visitors from China.
Websites of British attractions will be translated into Chinese, more staff will receive Chinese language trainings, more UnionPay facilities will be set up throughout the country, according to the tourism sector during a meeting.
Organized by the British tourist authority VisitBritain, the first GREAT China Welcome Business Summit was held in London on Wednesday.
Representatives of the British tourism industry, including hotels, attractions and tour agencies, have attended the summit, exploring businesses, sharing experiences and learning how to make themselves more China-friendly.
"Our goal is simple, to make Britain the most welcoming destination in Europe for the Chinese visitor. In order to do this we are providing the industry with guidance on what they need to become China ready," said Sandie Dawe, CEO of VisitBritain.
VisitBritain unveiled a new GREAT China Welcome Charter earlier this month. Supported by government ministers, the free Charter, so far, has attracted more than 100 businesses from Britain and China to sign up.
"The program will underpin our work in China and move us towards our ambitious target of welcoming 650,000 Chinese visits a year by 2020, worthing nearly 1.1 billion pounds (1.8 billion U.S. dollars) annually to the UK economy," she added.
Philippa Rouse, head of Customer Strategy & Insight, UK Visas & Immigration, said at the summit that the Visa applications for Chinese travelers are getting simpler, and the department is still making efforts with embassy, tour agencies and customers to make some changes.
However, she didn't mention any specific efforts and said Britain has no attention to join Schengen.
Roy Graff, managing director of ChinaContact, suggested that businesses who interested in the Chinese market should not only rethink offering product which really suitable for Chinese and train the staff, but also keep "active presence on Chinese social media, such as Sina Weibo and Wechat."
Delegations of global hotelier Hilton Worldwide and outlet shopping center Bicester Village and British Airways also shared their successful experiences of making changes for gaining more profits from Chinese customers.
China is now the world's leading outbound tourism market. Provisional data for 2013 suggests that the number of visitors to Britain from China reached 200,000 for the first time. Spend figures are even more remarkable, with Chinese visitors parting with over 400 million pounds (664 million U.S. dollars) during the first nine months of 2013 alone.
Related News in Chinese: 英国开足马力吸引中国游客

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