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Perthshire Tourism Partnership focuses on welcoming Chinese visitors

Press Release   •   Jan 18, 2017 15:00 GMT

As a key member of the public private Perthshire Tourism Partnership, Perth & Kinross Council is supporting a Perthshire Tourism Business Briefing asking delegates if they are ‘China Ready?’ on Thursday 19 January 2017 in Birnam Arts Centre.

Part of Perthshire Tourism Partnership’s remit is to inform and develop the regional Tourism Strategy in line with the national strategy Tourism Scotland 2020.

China has been identified as a growing tourism market opportunity and there has been rapid growth in the Chinese tourism market towards European destinations. In 2012-2014 Chinese visitors brought £112m to the Scottish economy alone

Dunkeld and Birnam Tourism Association and Blairgowrie & East Perthshire Tourist Association (BEPTA), in particular are keen to ensure they are ‘China Ready’ and provide a warm response to visitors due to a marked increase in Chinese visitors to Birnam and Dunkeld following the buy-out of two local hotels by travel agency and tour operator Omega Travel which trades as the Far East Travel Centre and the Chinese Travel Shop

The City of Perth and the Perth and Kinross area is considered to be in a strong position to attract Chinese visitors and it is now time start looking at how China can boost the economy of the local area. It's hoped the briefing will help raise awareness of the key issues and opportunities that engaging Chinese visitors will bring.

A good example of where this is already happening is in Edinburgh. Scotland's capital city is now the second most visited destination in the UK with over 150,000 Chinese nationals passing through the turnstiles of Edinburgh Castle in 2015.

Chinese visitors desire genuine respect, appreciate a high level of enthusiasm, a positive attitude and a good understanding of Chinese culture from service providers. Flight connectivity with China is improving and moves are being made to secure a direct airlink from China to Scotland.

The briefing aims to share knowledge in relation to Chinese Culture and expectations with local tourism businesses and service providers by providing useful insights, local case studies and links to practical resources.

The event is intended to help interested businesses take the first steps in welcoming Chinese visitors to the area and help businesses already engaged with this market to join a growing network of local China-friendly organisations. The delegates will hear what hotels, restaurants, retailers and destinations in Scotland could be doing collectively to help Chinese Visitors have a better holiday. A hotel case study will give insights into welcoming Chinese visitors and will share experiences both good and bad so that local businesses can adapt their approach accordingly.

Perth & Kinross Council Enterprise & Infrastructure Convener, Councillor John Kellas commented:

“This event provides an excellent opportunity to raise awareness within the local tourism industry of the growing number of Chinese tourists opting to holiday in European destinations and will give participants the chance to learn more about Chinese culture and the expectations of the Chinese visitor to Scotland.

“I hope by attending this event and by actioning some of the points made at the briefing which are supported by the China ready Opportunities Guide, businesses across Perth and Kinross will be inspired to help make this area a very appealing destination to Chinese visitors which in turn will increase the presence of Perth and Kinross in the tour itineraries of more international travel agents."

VisitScotland’s Regional Director Jim Clarkson said:

“China has a huge growth potential for tourism in Scotland and we’re delighted to team up with Perth & Kinross Council, Perthshire Tourism Partnership and Scottish Development International to deliver the China Ready event at Birnam Arts Centre.

“The briefing will highlight the growing importance of the Chinese market to tourism in Perthshire and allow businesses to share industry experience and best practice from across the region.

“VisitScotland is committed to supporting industry in their aspirations to internationalise and to attract more business and income from global markets – the Perthshire Tourism Briefing is a great example of this.”

- ENDS -

Picture caption: Left-to-right: Murray Ferguson, Director of Planning and Rural Development at Cairngorms National Park; Billy Jin, Sales Director of Beijing Fairmont Hotels; Fiona Alexander, Scottish Development International; Huishan Chapman, Scottish Development International; and Councillor John Kellas, Perth & Kinross Council Committee Convener for Enterprise & Infrastructure. Taken this morning outside Birnam Hotel, Birnam.

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