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Posted 24th October 2019

Lake District trade mission heads to China

Leading Lake District tourism businesses Ullswater ‘Steamers’ and Muncaster Castle & Gardens are heading to China next month, as part of a delegation to promote and strengthen the region’s links with the Asian markets.

They will be attending VisitBritain’s three day ‘Destination Britain China and North East Asia 2019’ event to promote British destinations, products and suppliers to around 100 overseas tour operators from China, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea. This year is takes place 25-27 November in the city of Xi'an, North West China.

Traditionally the Chinese tourism market has been associated with group travel, but today the largest growth market from this region are Financially Independent Travellers (FITs), who are hungry for authentic experiences. In 2018 visitors from China spent, on average, £1,680 per visit in the UK, almost three times the market average. They also stayed longer, with holidaymakers from China staying an average of 16 nights compared to the all market average of seven, and they travelled more widely across the UK than other visitors.

Rachel Bell Head of Marketing & Development at Lake District Estates and Director of Western Lake District and Coast Tourism says, ‘This trade mission is all about developing key relationships with buyers in the growing Asian markets and showcasing the full breadth of what the Lake District has to offer outside of the well-known Windermere area. The FIT (Free and Independent Travel) segment is set to keep growing and travel agents play a vital role in facilitating first-time travellers make their holiday plans, so it is essential we can utilise this mission to make strong connections to compete in the global tourism market. Britain is recognised as a world class destination for heritage and culture and with our Lake District National Park awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status in the cultural category, we have a huge amount to offer international visitors in terms of experiences that fascinate and delight. Ullswater Steamers already have Mandarin language publications, commentary app, website version and works closely with Marketing Manchester to make the most of WeChat and Weibo.’

Peter Frost-Pennington of Muncaster Castle said ‘I am delighted to have the opportunity to showcase the landscape, high quality attractions and facilities that the Western Lake District offers to the rising Chinese tourist market. With the scenic Cumbrian Coast railway line connecting the region to the mainline trains direct from London and Manchester it is incredibly straight forward for visitors to get here from the major international airports. My emphasis will naturally be on Muncaster Castle, our Pennington Hotels and our neighbouring attraction, the brilliant Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway.’

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Notes for Editors

Press contact: Sorcha Hunter PR Executive s.hunter@cumbriatourism.org | 07398 255654

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