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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
- 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.
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
Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites
Studley Royal Park including the Ruins of Fountains Abbey
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
Tower of London
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
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