A NEW bid is being launched in York to capitalise on growing visitor numbers from the Far East.
The city’s tourism agency, Visit York, is publishing a dedicated sightseeing and shopping guide specifically for Chinese visitors.
The drive to boost booking from Chinese tour operators comes in response to China becoming York’s tenth largest overseas tourism market, up from 19th place ten years ago.
Plans are also in the pipeline to produce a York visitor guide in simplified Mandarin, which will be distributed through five incoming airlines, VIP airport lounges at London Heathrow, Stansted and Manchester, tour operators specialising in the Chinese market, and hotels in London, Manchester, Leeds and York.
Michelle Brown, marketing manager at Visit York, said: “Of the one million overseas visitors we welcome each year, China is now our tenth largest market, having moved up nine places in the last ten years.
“We are keen to make sure York is high on the agenda for tour operators planning their UK programmes.
“Research tells us York’s visitor offer is a perfect match for the Chinese visitor and ticks all the boxes when it comes to what the Chinese are looking for in a holiday in the UK.
“York is well placed to benefit from an increase in Chinese visitors in the years to come.”
Visit York’s Shop & The City itinerary, which is being printed in Mandarin, was created after officials from the organisations attended the VisitBritain China Sales Mission in Chengdu, western China, in November.
The brochure presents a five-star, three-day stay in York, taking in shopping in Shambles, top attractions, afternoon tea options and fine dining.
The itinerary will be distributed by VisitBritain China to its travel trade and tour operator contacts and through its Chinese social media channels, Weibo and Weixin.
According to VisitBritain, direct route access to the UK from China is improving and several UK airports and carriers are working to build more routes between the UK and China.
Visit York is also working with partners to improve information available to visitors from China in Chinese.