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Seven Highland attractions in list of leading Scottish landmarks to be given Mandarin names in VisitBritain’s biggest ever Chinese tourism campaign

Some of the Highlands’ most popular attractions and icons are to be renamed as part of a new campaign aimed at Chinese visitors.

Glen Coe, the Glenfinnan Viaduct, Eilean Donan Castle Cairngorms National Park, Nessie, The Highland Games and the Malt Whisky Trail are among a list of 23 Scottish attractions that are to be given Mandarin names by the Chinese as part of VisitBritain’s new ‘GREAT names for GREAT Britain’ campaign.

It is part of the UK tourism board’s largest-ever marketing drive in China, which includes 101 British locations and products which currently don’t have a Mandarin name. 

In China, it is popular to give favourite locations, things and even celebrities names that are a literal description of what people think of them. The tourism campaign will therefore invite prospective Chinese visitors to the UK to come up with the most fitting, memorable or amusing Mandarin names for some of the country’s best-loved places, events and products.

Leading landmarks which will be featured in the campaign include the national Wallace Monument, Fingal’s Cave, Balmoral Castle and Estate and the Kelpies.

Also on the list as a top Scottish attraction - appropriately, as Scotland prepares to celebrate its Year of Food and Drink in 2015 - is the haggis, as immortalised by Robert Burns, together with other Scots foodie-favourites Arbroath Smokies, The Malt Whisky Trail, and Loch Fyne. 

Convener of The Highland Council, Councillor Jimmy Gray welcomed the landmark naming initiative he said:

We have a long history of welcoming business delegations from China and international tourists to the Highlands. I hope that this novel idea to give our tourism assets Mandarin names will attract many tourists to the area who will be given a warm Highland welcome. I can’t wait to hear what Nessie’s new name in Mandarin will be!

The complete list of attractions throughout the whole of the UK which feature in the new £1.6m tourism campaign will be revealed today on VisitBritain’s Chinese social media platforms (Weibo/WeChat). Over the course of ten weeks, these will be released in weekly groups of ten, with the first batch covering points of interest with a royal connection.

A joint VisitBritain, UKVI and Home Office branded print and ‘out of home’ advertising campaign will run alongside the naming activity, introducing points of interest (with no Chinese name) and inviting the consumer to get involved in the naming process.

Denise Hill, Head of International Marketing at VisitScotland said: “Visits to Scotland from China are increasing year-on-year, and the VisitBritain naming campaign is a fun and entertaining way of engaging with this huge target market.

“Spotlighting an array of great attractions, natural wonders and unique experiences right across Scotland, along with several well-loved icons, will help to spark conversations and debate, pushing our inspirational country up the list of ‘must-do’ destinations and generate interest and demand to visit places way beyond the current popular tourism hot spots.”

New global brand survey results also suggest that perceptions of Britain in China have significantly improved over the last year. Britain is riding high in perceptions across a number of categories. Chinese aspirations to visit Britain if ‘money was no object’ have climbed into the top four for the first time. Even more impressive is the fact the Chinese rank us higher than ever before for our ‘tourism’ offer, placing Britain second out of fifty nations polled.

All the new Chinese names are likely to be unveiled in March 2015. In the meantime all suggestions are welcomed by tweeting #greatnames.

Watch the short consumer video.

Visit the campaign site: www.visitbritain.com/greatnames

5 Dec 2014
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