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Link-up for long-haul connection

Laing on board China direct flight campaign

China-Edinburgh Laing

City targeting Chinese market

One of Edinburgh’s family businesses has signed up to a unique collaboration aimed at securing direct flights between the city and China.

Laing, the jeweller, is the first company to sponsor the Edinburgh-China Air Link Project that is being delivered and funded by Marketing Edinburgh, Edinburgh Airport and the city council.

The project is a key plank in attempts to capitalise on the city’s reputation as the UK’s most popular destination outside London for Chinese visitors.

The number of trips to Edinburgh by Chinese nationals has risen by 45% a year since 2014 and the city attracts 83% of Scotland’s total Chinese visitors who spent £26.5 million in 2015.

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

Edinburgh Castle also welcomed more than 150,000 Chinese nationals while city attracts 4,000 Chinese students each year, of which 53% welcome friends and family from home at least once a year.

Laing Edinburgh’s sponsorship of the project will be made at the fourth annual CBBC (China-Britain Business Council) Burns Supper at the Waldorf Astoria in Edinburgh.

The Edinburgh-China Air Link project coincides with the launch by ETAG (Edinburgh Tourism Action Group) of Scotland’s first-ever campaign on Chinese social media sites.

Michael Laing, chairman of the eponymous jeweller, described the tie-up as a “a monumental opportunity for Edinburgh”.

John Donnelly, chief executive of Marketing Edinburgh, said: “We’re thrilled about the movements of the project so far and feel positive about the future of Scotland’s connections to China with our first sponsor on-board.

“This is a really exciting time for the Edinburgh tourism market as we work to position the city and Scotland as a China friendly destination. We’re anticipating the next sponsor sign-up.”

Photo (top): Left to right – Richard Laing, Director, Laing Edinburgh; Fiona Hunter, Edinburgh-China Air Link Project Manager, Marketing Edinburgh, Kathy Xin Luo, Chinese Business Development Manager; Kat Barron, General Manager, Laing; Michael Laing, Chairman & Owner of Laing; Cllr Gavin Barrie, City of Edinburgh Council Economy Convener; Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive, Edinburgh Airport


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