Fund to boost Chinese tourists to North of England

North West tourism businesses are set to experience benefits from a £15,000 fund to encourage more Chinese tourists to visit the area. This fund has come ahead of the launch of new direct flights between Manchester and Beijing in June. A team of local businesses teamed up with Marketing Manchester to create a 10 month long campaign to promote the area as the ‘gateway’ to the North West of England. The main aim of the campaign is to engage with potential Chinese tourists by connecting with them with the use of editorial articles over 80 Chinese media outlets as well as the use of social media. Together the group managed to secure £15,000 funding from the county’s strategic economic body, the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership. Director of the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, Graham Haywood said “The start of the first direct flights between Manchester and Beijing means that the Lake District and other parts of Cumbria will become far more accessible to Chinese visitors to the UK.” Haywood continued “If it can exploit upward visitor trends, this will bring significant benefits to tourism attractions, accommodation and hospitality providers, and the wider economy across Cumbria.” The number of Chinese tourists to the UK capital of London has increased by 112 per cent since 2009. These visitors have also contributed £500m annually to the economy. Tourism and hospitality businesses are also beginning to adapt to the new demand from Chinese tourists. Popular hotel chain, Travelodge has recently opened its first hotel aimed at  welcoming Chinese guests in Bicester by offering ‘Noodle Kettles’, green tea and Mandarin speaking staff. Predictions from Oxford Economics indicate that spending by Chinese tourists with grow a further 77 per cent in the UK over the next seven years.
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