Six Lake District businesses are visiting Beijing in a bid to tap into the growing Chinese market.
English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues, Windermere Lake Cruises, Mountain Goat Tours, Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway, the World of Beatrix Potter andUllswater Steamers are all being represented on the visit.
Working in partnership with the UK’s national tourism agency VisitBritain, the aim is to strengthen business links, increase visitor numbers and promote the Lake District’s natural settings, beautiful scenery and rural life.
This year’s visit has been strengthened by the establishment of a new China forum under the auspices of the Lake District National Park Authority. The group, which also includes Wordsworth Trust, Lakeland Arts, Forestry Commission and the National Trust, are developing plans to showcase year round stories from the Lake District.
The businesses will also take part in targeted meetings with some of China’s top travel operators at their head office locations.
Colin Fox from English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues (pictured) said: “China’s tourism potential is huge. It’s my fourth trip to the country but this year is different as we’re going as a much bigger group representing some of the best attractions which the Lake District has to offer. Our collective strength and diversity will put us more firmly on the map with the travel industry in China.
“The number of Chinese visitors to our hotels has more than tripled since 2012 and 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 increase in Chinese tourists has led to the China forum collaborating on a marketing strategy specifically for the Chinese market. It has already commissioned research to analyse how Chinese tourists wish to experience the rural English lifestyle and especially the Lake District’s points of historical and geographical interest.
Colin Fox added: “We aim to raise the profile of the Lake District in China and build stronger business tourism relationships, together devising more effective solutions to reach more Chinese tourists in both the UK and China.
“With China’s burgeoning international tourism market, the visit is another excellent opportunity to establish more contacts, this time in Beijing and gain more insight into Chinese culture and travel preferences.”