Main­land tourists pack Ed­in­burgh

China Daily (Canada) - - VIEWS - By BO LE­UNG in Lon­don bole­ung@mail. chi­nadai­lyuk.com

A social me­dia cam­paign to at­tract more Chi­nese vis­i­tors to the Scot­tish cap­i­tal, Ed­in­burgh, has been hailed a suc­cess with tourist num­bers shoot­ing up by 40 per­cent.

The Ed­in­burgh Chi­nese Social Me­dia Cam­paign was launched in Novem­ber 2016 by the Ed­in­burgh Tourism Ac­tion Group. It has at­tracted al­most 60,000 fol­low­ers and re­ceived 66 mil­lion hits across its chan­nels, ac­cord­ing to the coun­try’s na­tional tourist board, VisitS­cot­land.

The cam­paign used in­flu­en­tial Chi­nese social me­dia plat­forms Weibo and WeChat to push Ed­in­burgh as a must-see des­ti­na­tion for vis­i­tors from China, of­fer­ing travel tips, itin­er­ar­ies and pro­mo­tions in Man­darin, from the city’s most pop­u­lar tourism busi­nesses. It also rec­om­mended key points of in­ter­est for Chi­nese trav­el­ers, such as his­tory, ar­chi­tec­ture, film lo­ca­tions and shop­ping.

Ed­in­burgh is the most pop­u­lar United King­dom des­ti­na­tion af­ter Lon­don, and aims to dou­ble the num­ber of Chi­nese tourists by 2020.

VisitS­cot­land, which funded the 40,000-pound ($56,000) cam­paign with its Growth Fund award, said it has been a dy­namic and in­flu­en­tial col­lab­o­ra­tion of China-fo­cused busi­nesses, se­cur­ing 21 pri­vate-sec­tor in­dus­try part­ners, as well as pro­vid­ing Chi­nese social me­dia brief­ings to 75 busi­nesses.

“The sup­port from Ed­in­burgh’s tourism busi­nesses — as well as VisitS­cot­land’s Growth Fund and Scot­tish En­ter­prise — has en­abled the des­ti­na­tion’s first-ever social me­dia chan­nels in China to ex­ceed all our ex­pec­ta­tions,” said Rob Lang, chair of the Ed­in­burgh Tourism Ac­tion Group’s China Ready Ini­tia­tive.

Ed­in­burgh busi­nesses see­ing the ben­e­fits in­clude Ed­in­burgh Cas­tle, Hag­gis Backp a c k e r s , which saw a 20 per­cent in­crease in Chi­nese visi­tor num­bers, and Laing the Jew­eller, which re­ported a 40 per­cent rise.

Ed­in­burgh Cas­tle fig­ures re­veal that more than 177,000 vis­i­tors of Chi­nese ori­gin vis­ited the at­trac­tion last year.

Gra­ham Kelly, VisitS­cot­land mar­ket man­ager China & East Asia, said: “The Chi­nese mar­ket has huge growth po­ten­tial for tourism in Scot­land, so it’s fan­tas­tic to see the phe­nom­e­nal suc­cess of the Chi­nese Social Me­dia Cam­paign … and I look for­ward to wel­com­ing many more Chi­nese vis­i­tors as this cam­paign con­tin­ues to go from strength to strength.”

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