New project aims to help hotels attract Chinese visitors

A group of Lake District hospitality businesses has commissioned two Lancaster University students to research Chinese attitudes to overseas travel and tourism.

The results will be used by the newly-formed China Forum to help develop plans to encourage more Chinese tourists to visit the Lake District.

The results will also play a key role in preparations for a trade visit to Beijing in November. The group will meet representatives from the Chinese travel trade and the local media, as part of an initiative by the UK’s national tourism agency, VisitBritain.

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Colin Fox, from the Lake District China Forum and English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues, says: “There is growing recognition of the importance of the Chinese market for the Lake District. We are seeing increasing numbers of Chinese visitors coming to the area and it is essential that we make sure the Lake District is high on the list of places for Chinese people to visit in Britain.”

English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues enlisted the help of Yan Li and Zhiling Lou, both of whom are studying MSc Management at Lancaster University Management School, to produce the report on Chinese tourism.

Their research will include questionnaires, focus groups and telephone interviews, to explore what aspects of the Lake District would be of most interest to Chinese tourists and the types of activities that would be their most popular choices. They will also be investigating the most effective promotional tools to reach Chinese tourists and to market the Lake District more widely to Chinese audiences.

“China is one of the main emerging markets providing a new generation of international tourists,” explains Colin Fox, the group marketing manager at English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues.

“We are keen to understand how to attract more Chinese people to visit the Lake District and the activities that should be offered. We are particularly interested in how we can best target groups such as Chinese students in this country and their families, as well as Chinese travel businesses organising visits to the UK.”



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