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Visit York Wins Award for Welcome to Chinese Visitors

kate mcmullen visit york

2:25pm 30th April 2014

York’s tourism agency Visit York is just one of six tourism organisations in the country who have this month been awarded with the GREAT China Welcome Charter; a tourism industry chartermark acknowledging the city’s commitment to welcoming Chinese visitors. 
The GREAT China Welcome is a new initiative from VisitBritain to make Britain the destination of choice for the rapidly growing Chinese market.  Visits to the UK have doubled in the last ten years and tourism bosses hope they will treble again by 2020.  The aim of the new welcome charter is to help Chinese visitors easily identify hotels, attractions, shops and tour operators who understand their travel needs and what it is that will make their stay more enjoyable.
Gearing up to ensure York is ready to welcome Chinese visitors, Visit York is now one of 116 UK businesses to be awarded the GREAT China Welcome Charter from VisitBritain.  To demonstrate York’s commitment to welcoming Chinese visitors and qualify for this Welcome China Charter Visit York is already:

  • Committed to offering training for tourism businesses in York (organised by Visit York, the first of several two-day China Welcome Training courses taking place in May is already full.) 
  • Setting up social media channels in China on Weibo and Weixin (Wechat) (half a billion users are signed up to these social media channels)
  • Producing a new visitor guide in simplied Mandarin – initially 30,000 copies will be distributed in May to key tour operators and on five incoming airlines from China, in UK airport lounges and London, Leeds, Manchester and York hotels.

Michelle Brown, Marketing Manager of Visit York explained the benefits, ‘This is fantastic news for York.  This new Charter will open up a world of opportunity in the Chinese market for us.  It means that York will be promoted in China by VisitBritain, including translating York information into Chinese, the city will be promoted in Chinese tour operator manuals and Visit York will take part in forthcoming sales missions as well as having access to the all important Union Pay system, the preferred method of payment for Chinese visitors.’
The Churchill Hotel in York is Visit York’s first member businesses to also be awarded the Charter.  Marketing to Chinese travellers in Mandarin in conjunction with the Royale Classical Hotels Collection, Chinese visitors to the hotel are already being greeted with a tailored welcome pack including, amongst other items Chinese Green and Jasmine Tea plus imported pots of familiar snack noodles.   With China estimated to be York’s 10th largest overseas tourism market – up from 19th place ten years ago - Visit York is planning ahead.  To boost York’s marketing in China yet further a new video to entice Chinese visitors to York will be filmed in June with a Mandarin speaking presenter.   VisitBritain TV and Visit York will then promote the video via social media channels.  Added to this the York video will be screened in all Visa application offices in eleven cities in China.
Michelle Brown, Marketing Manager for Visit York continued, ‘We’re going full steam ahead to target both trade and consumers in the Chinese market.  We now need to ensure we work with tourism businesses in the city to welcome Chinese visitors and make sure we’re ready to adapt to their needs.’
John Wallace, General Manager of the Churchill Hotel said, ‘The potential for York is huge and York ticks all the boxes when it comes to what the Chinese are looking for in a holiday in the UK.  By making simple changes to what we offer our Chinese visitors we can show them the warmest of York welcomes.  We would encourage other tourism businesses to get ready and work with Visit York to benefit from an increase in Chinese visitors in the years to come.’ 
Sandie Dawe, Chief Executive of VisitBritain, said, ‘There is strong evidence that businesses who go the extra mile in catering for certain nationalities quickly reap the benefits. Visit York is a great example of a tourism organisation which has been quick to recognise the massive potential of the Chinese market. We hope that many more British tourism and hospitality businesses will follow their example.’ 
For more information on getting involved and how to market your business with Visit York in China: Contact Michelle Brown, Marketing Manager, Visit York, Tel 01904 554456  Email mb@visityork.org  For more information visit www.greatchinawelcome.com 

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