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Attractions prove popular

Scotland’s so good we want to come back, say Chinese tourists

Chinese tourists

Chinese tourists soaking up the culture (pic: Terry Murden)

Most Chinese tourists visiting Scotland have enjoyed the experience and plan a return trip, according to new research.

It also revealed more than half stay in top end hotels – four star and above – making them a lucrative source of tourism revenue.

The survey, commissioned by VisitScotland, found that Chinese holidaymakers on their first visit rely on traditional images such as bagpipes, kilts, whisky, and castles.

Returning visitors also associate Scotland with images of wildlife, nature, escapism, spirit of freedom and friendly local people.

Almost nine in ten (87%) of first time visitors said they would like to return.

The top four visited locations are Edinburgh, Glasgow, the Highlands and the Loch Lomond area. As well as finding out what Chinese people think of Scotland, the research discovered their general motivations when picking a destination to visit.

These include, seeking quality time in natural beauty, immersing themselves in the local culture, escaping from the daily routine, and seeking relaxation.

The research was conducted among travellers aged 25 to 45 from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Edinburgh Castle Esplanade

Chinese visitors enjoy the traditional sights (pic: Terry Murden)

In recent years, China has become one of the fastest growing outbound tourism countries, reflected in a 300% rise in visitor numbers to Scotland within the last ten years, according to International Passenger Survey figures.

It is now a priority market for the national tourism body and this new research will give a better understanding of Chinese holidaymakers to help improve their visitor experience.

Hazel Sellar, VisitScotland market manager for China, said: “This is a first of its kind piece of research in China by VisitScotland, which will enable us to tailor our marketing activity even further and to ensure Scotland is on Chinese travellers’ must-see list.

“People in China increasingly enjoy holidays to long-haul destinations. Their growing appetite for unique and exciting experiences means that Scotland is perfectly positioned to offer them exactly what they’re looking for time and time again.  

“Our goal is to continue to raise awareness of Scotland as a destination in China, showcasing the great products we know appeal to Chinese visitors.

“We also strive to support the industry in expanding into this market and improving the visitor experience for Chinese travellers.

“Tourism is more than a holiday experience – it is the heartbeat of the Scottish economy and touches every community, generating income, jobs and social change.”



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