A Lake District based hotel group is marking the tenth anniversary of a national tourism campaign to establish stronger links with Chinese tourism operators.
English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues has been working with VisitBritain since 2008 in a bid to attract more Chinese visitors to stay at its five hotels in Cumbria and North Lancashire.
Since then, the Chinese market has become the hotel group’s fastest growing overseas market. Visitor numbers to its venues from China have increased from 0.8% to 6% in recent years, overtaking Japan and the United States to become its primary international market.
Colin Fox from English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues explains: “My first independent promotional visit to Shanghai was in 2003 and that led us to regularly attend the annual Destination Britain China event. In the last five years, we’ve clearly seen the benefits, with almost an eight-fold increase in Chinese visitors.
“Since creating the English Lake District China Forum with Jennifer Cormack from Windermere Lake Cruises to represent the area, our collective promotional activity has increased massively in recent years too.”
Several members of English Lake District China Forum will be attending the tenth VisitBritain delegation to China this month. Mr Fox and Mrs Cormack will be representing the forum at an extra promotional event in Shanghai, as well as in meetings with established contacts and leading Chinese tourism operators. They will proceed to Xi’an for the closing ceremony of the EU-China tourism year, before flying to Sanya Island for the main VisitBritain event.
Mr Fox adds: “International visitors continue to be a very important part of our business. In particular, there are important midweek occupancy benefits from overseas visitors which are harder to achieve through domestic business alone. We expect our market share from China, Japan and the United states to see continued growth.
“The new developments at Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa will also increase the availability and interest for the higher end market on this year’s visit.”
To find out more about English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues, visit englishlakes.co.uk