It’s all Chinese to us: Yorkshire landmarks are renamed for the Orient

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SEVEN of Yorkshire’s notable places and attractions have been chosen to star in a new marketing drive which is being launched today aimed at encouraging Chinese tourists to visit the region.

Whitby, Malham Cove, The Shambles in York, Fountains Abbey, Castle Howard, Brimham Rocks and Harrogate have all been chosen for the campaign which aims to attract more visitors from the rapidly growing Chinese market.

Chinese Dragons by the Druids Writing Desk at Brimham Rocks.

Chinese Dragons by the Druids Writing Desk at Brimham Rocks.

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “Yorkshire is already a popular destination for Chinese visitors, thanks to among other things our amazing outdoors and huge variety of heritage attractions like historic houses, buildings and monuments.

“Anything that can help increase interest in this growing market is welcomed,” Mr Verity added.

The new marketing blitz is being launched today by national tourism agency VisitBritain. It is designed to encourage Chinese people to learn more about Britain by giving places and experiences they might not be familiar with a new Chinese name.

A 101 points of interest around Britain, including seven from the region, have been selected to feature in the campaign. In China it is popular to give Chinese names to favourite celebrities, places and foods - for example, British actor and Sherlock Holmes star, Benedict Cumberbatch, has been affectionately named ‘Curly Fu’ by his Chinese fans.

Chinese Dragons by the Druids Writing Desk at Brimham Rocks.

Chinese Dragons by the Druids Writing Desk at Brimham Rocks.

VisitBritain will use tools including advertising and social and digital media to invite people in China to give: “Great Names for Great Britain.”

The campaign hopes to attract more visitors from the rapidly-growing Chinese tourism market and encourage them to travel further afield around Britain. In 2013 Britain welcomed 196,000 visits from China - up 10 per cent on 2012 - which contributed £492m to the UK’s economy. Chinese tourists spend an average of £2,508 per visit compared to the overall average spend of £640 per visit.

Yesterday the Visit York Tourism Insights conference was held in York with delegates hearing how the city has its sights firmly set on attracting Chinese visitors. Visit York has also launched a campaign positioning York to tour operators across China as a must-see destination.

Joss Croft, marketing director at VisitBritain said: “Naming is very popular in China and this is a fun way of getting Chinese people to think about and describe places and experiences across Britain, especially as some of the British names are difficult to translate or pronounce in Chinese. This campaign will raise the profile of Yorkshire among Chinese consumers and drive increased visits from this valuable tourism market.”

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