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Forget Stonehenge: National Trust uses Giant’s Causeway to lure Chinese tourists to UK with marketing blitz in four major cities

Travel Tweets

  • There has been a 35% increase in Chinese visitors in past three years
    Tourism chiefs travelling to Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Guangzhou
    Audio guides and welcome maps to be distributed in Mandarin

It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the UK, and now tourism chiefs are pushing the merits of Giant’s Causeway into the Chinese market.

Over the last three years there has been a 35 per cent increase in Chinese visitors at Giant's Causeway

Over the last three years there has been a 35 per cent increase in Chinese visitors at Giant’s Causeway

The National Trust’s World Heritage site, the only one in Northern Ireland, is currently being promoted in four major cities in China on a sales mission organised by Tourism Ireland.

Residents in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and eventually Guangzhou will be educated in the history of the famous location in County Antrim.

And with Chinese visitors to the site rising by 35 per cent over the last three years, the marketing strategy shows no signs of letting up.

Speaking to the BBC, Alexandra Mehaffy, National Trust tourism development manager for the Giant’s Causeway and north coast, said: ‘Our Chinese visitors are able to hear the stories and mystery of the Causeway landscape explained to them in Mandarin through an audio-guide and a welcome map is also available in Mandarin.

‘They are very impressed by our World Heritage site and the natural beauty of the north coast.’

It is reported that China’s outbound travel is expected to increase by 15 per cent to 114 million trips this year and estimated to reach 20 million trips by 2020.

THE UK’S 28 WORLD HERITAGE SITES

Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd

Durham Castle and Cathedral

Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast

Ironbridge Gorge

St Kilda

Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites

Studley Royal Park including the Ruins of Fountains Abbey

Blenheim Palace

City of Bath

Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey including Saint Margaret’s Church

Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine’s Abbey, and St Martin’s Church

Henderson Island

Tower of London

Maritime Greenwich

Gough and Inaccessible Islands (Extension of Gough Island Wildlife Reserve.

Old and New Towns of Edinburgh

Heart of Neolithic Orkney

Blaenavon Industrial Landscape

Historic Town of St George and Related Fortifications, Bermuda

Derwent Valley Mills

Dorset and East Devon Coast

New Lanark

Saltaire

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City

Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal

Frontiers of the Roman Empire (including Hadrian’s Wall)

Giant’s Causeway, on the north coast of Northern Ireland, boasts 40,000 interlinked basalt columns extending into the sea, while the area surrounding it is home to wildlife ranging from peregrine falcons to seals.

Legend has it the giant Finn MacCool built the enormous ‘stepping stones’ to Scotland to do battle with a rival there – though the more prosaic explanation is that they were formed by cooling lava 60 million years ago.

The site’s website states: ‘Flanked by the wild North Atlantic Ocean and a landscape of dramatic cliffs, for centuries the Giant’s Causeway has inspired artists, stirred scientific debate and captured the imagination of all who see it.’

Full Article in the Daily Mail: By John Hutchinson for Mailonline

The Small Group Tour Experts

England – Ireland – Scotland

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