Business / Companies

UK seeks to boost Chinese visitors

By Chen Qide in Shanghai ( Updated: 2012-11-20 14:11

VisitBritain, a national tourism agency in the UK, is launching a tourism promotion project in Shanghai, a key part of its 125-million-pound ($199 million) global "Great" campaign, to capitalize on the increased interest in Britain from China.

"The project aims to boost the number of Chinese tourists heading to Britain, with an ambition to attract an additional 233,000 visits by 2020," said Keith Beecham, Overseas Network Director VisitBritain.

Beecham said Chinese visitors to Britain are drawn to the country by its creativity, rich culture and heritage, enchanting countryside and wonderful shopping experience.

Last year 150,000 visitors arrived in the UK from China, spending 240 million pounds in the process. Visitors are expected to increase by 17 percent this year, he said.

"But compared with China's 38 million tourists heading overseas last year, the figure is far too small for us," he added.

A tourism delegation from the UK is visiting Shanghai to meet leading Chinese travel agents from the mainland and Hong Kong with a series of one-on-one appointments and seminars aimed at boosting destination knowledge and advising on issues such visas.

Weekly direct flights between the UK and China have grown by more than 30 per cent, with flights increasing from 31 early this year up to 42 in November, said Beecham.

"More flights will add to the routes from China to Britain to meet our target for 2020," he said.

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