China / World

Famous clipper pulls in record tourist crowd

(China Daily) Updated: 2017-06-23 09:31

LONDON - A sailing ship built almost 150 years ago to rush consignments of tea from China to Britain has seen record numbers of Chinese tourists catching a glimpse of maritime history.

Figures released Wednesday show the number of visitors from China toasting the famous Cutty Sark at its London home have rocketed in the past year by 200 percent.

Visitors to the ship, part of the Royal Museums at Greenwich, can discover what life was like on board the vessel, which is the world's only surviving tea clipper.

She was fastest ship of her time, built in Scotland in 1869, and designed to carry tea from China to England as fast as possible. The ship traveled the globe and visited every major world port.

The figures also show Chinese visitors have taken a larger share of the RMG's international market, making up 8.3 percent of all overseas visitors in 2016/17, up from 4.9 percent in 2015/16.

The greatest percentage increases were seen at the National Maritime Museum and the Cutty Sark, where Chinese visitor figures grew by 247 percent and 200 percent respectively year-on-year.

RMG includes the National Maritime Museum, the Royal Observatory Greenwich and the 17th-Century Queen's House and the Cutty Sark, forming a key part of the Maritime Greenwich UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Total Chinese visitors across all four museums exceeded 68,000.

Amy O'Donovan, who is responsible for the Chinese market at RMG, said: "Our Chinese journey is really starting to bear fruit and we have exceeded all our targets."


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