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Social media first as Edinburgh targets China

Edinburgh is a key destination for Chinese visitors (photo by Terry Murden)
Edinburgh is a key destination for Chinese visitors (photo by Terry Murden)

Tourism campaign launched

Tourist bosses backed by Edinburgh businesses have launched the first-ever social media campaign aimed at 1 billion Chinese tourists.

The Edinburgh Tourism Action Group (ETAG), supported by VisitScotland, is targeting Chinese social media sites Weibo and WeChat.

It will offer tips, itineraries and promotions in Mandarin from the city’s most popular tourism businesses, with recommended visitor attractions of interest to Chinese travellers, such as history, architecture, film locations and shopping.

The Edinburgh Chinese Social Media Campaign, which has received a £40,000 funding boost from the national tourism organisation’s Growth Fund, aims to help continue the city’s record-breaking growth in Chinese visitors. 

Adverts and promoted posts on social media and digital campaigns on influential travel sites such as CTrip (who recently acquired Edinburgh-based Skyscanner) will also promote the destination in key cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. 

Nineteen businesses have joined forces with ETAG to support the new social media channels targeting the world’s largest inbound visitor market. 

China is an important and growing market for the Scottish tourism sector with Edinburgh remaining the second most popular UK destination after London.

Official tourism figures reveal total average Chinese visitor spend to Scotland exceeded £43 million over the last three years and Edinburgh Castle alone welcomed more than 160,000 Chinese visitors in 2015. The city was the destination for 87% of Chinese visitors to Scotland.

Robin Worsnop, chairman of ETAG, said: “We know Chinese visitors love our historic, walkable city, our top attractions, our architecture and our unique links to major films like Harry Potter.”

This latest marketing push is the next phase of the city’s China-Ready initiative – launched by ETAG in 2015 and supported by Scottish Enterprise.

Danny Cusick

Danny Cusick, director of food, tourism and textiles, Scottish Enterprise said: “Building awareness of Edinburgh through these new social media channels will not only support our ambitions for growing Chinese tourism to Edinburgh and Scotland, but complements Scottish Enterprise’s wider work to promote Scottish products, such as food, drink and textiles to the Chinese market.”

Those taking part in the campaign are: Edinburgh Airport, Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh First, Haggis Adventures, Laing Edinburgh, Rabbies, Scotch Whisky Experience, Scotrail, Turkish Airlines, Camera Obscura, Essential Edinburgh, Marketing Edinburgh, Multrees Walk, National Galleries Scotland, National Museums Scotland, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Royal Yacht Britannia, Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa and World Duty Free.

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