Lake District tourism targets the Chinese market

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Lake District tourism targets the Chinese market

Related tags: England

VisitBritain’s ongoing campaign to attract Chinese tourists to the UK is stepping up plans to boost visitor numbers to the Lake District.

The tourism board is aiming to secure 650,000 Chinese visits a year by 2020​, worth nearly £1.1bn annually to the UK economy.

It has partnered with six Lakeland tourism businesses which are flying to Beijing this week to meet media and travel operators.

English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues - which runs five hotels in the region - said it had seen Chinese visitor numbers triple in the last three years.

“China’s tourism potential is huge,” said Colin Fox, group marketing manager at English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues.

“Our aim is to exploit this continuing upward trend to boost local tourism. This year we have again seen an increase in Chinese visitors and it’s notable that they are extending their travels into the late autumn, something which is atypical amongst most international travellers here."

The Lake District National Park Authority – which includes the National Trust and the Forestry Commission – has also launched research on how to market rural England to the Chinese market.

The move follows David Cameron’s announcement that Chinese visa rules would be relaxed from 2016.

Chinese visitors are usually issued with a £85 six-month tourist visa, but from January a two year multiple entry visa will be introduced.

The move is predicted to boost the numbers of Chinese tourists to the UK by 256,000 a year and inject £337m in to the economy.

Related topics: Business, Hotels

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