China in our hand? York reaches out to fast growing tourist market

4 Dec 2014 @ 8.39 am
| Business

An image from the Visit York Chinese Visitor Guide
York is a must-see destination for a Chinese visitor – that is the key message from city tourist leaders in 2015.

More than 250 tourism businesses attending the Visit York Tourism Insights conference on Thursday (December 4) were told to get “China ready”.

York has its sights firmly set on Chinese visitors planning their travel itineraries for 2015 and beyond, says head of Visit York Kate McMullen.

“This market is the fastest growing and its crucial we plan ahead now and do all we can to get ready to welcome Chinese visitors to York and Yorkshire in the future.”

– Kate McMullen

The keynote speaker at the conference, held at York Racecourse, is Professor Dr Wolfgang Arlt. An expert on inbound tourism from China, he explained how businesses can begin to adapt and get ready to tap into this fast growing tourism market.

York’s Chinese push

With China estimated to be York’s 10th largest overseas tourism market – up from 19th place 10 years ago, Visit York has also produced a suite of visitor information in simplified Mandarin.

Other key activity announced at the conference includes:

  Visit York gains The GREAT China Welcome Charter, a VisitBritain award acknowledging the city’s commitment to welcoming Chinese visitors
  30,000 York Visitor Guides for Chinese visitors distributed via five major airlines, at London Heathrow, Stansted and Manchester, and hotels in London, Manchester, Leeds and York
  A new Shop & The City itinerary developed, which presents a five-star, three-day stay in York taking in shopping on Shambles, top attractions, afternoon tea and fine dining
  A new promotional video in Chinese going live this week which has already achieved more than 250,000 views
  A dedicated Visit York webpage added to the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute website

Visit York marketing manager Michelle Brown has recently returned from a tourism trade mission to sell York face to face to more than 90 influential Chinese tour operators.

Kate said: “We’re working full steam ahead to target both the travel trade and consumers in the Chinese market.

“At the same time it’s crucial that we continue to attract and look after our visitors from closer to home; our success will depend on meeting the needs of our customers today as well as planning ahead for the emerging markets of the future.”