The National China-Ready Conference is helping Scottish businesses to be prepared for the influx of additional Chinese visitors arriving on the inaugural direct flight from China to Scotland, starting next June.
Around 200 delegates attend the meeting a first-of-its-kind held at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, and designed for give businesses the opportunity to hear further details of the four-times-per-week flight route from Beijing.
The conference organizers said this is the better way for local entrepreneurs to learn from industry experts and local best-practice case studies about attracting and welcoming Chinese visitors and the latest Chinese shopping and payment trends.
Also to meet a wide range of specialists and exhibitors offering support to businesses with their translation, business development and marketing needs.
“Today’s National China Ready Conference is all about practical and immediate steps that tourism businesses can implement to get in to the best possible position to benefit from the continued increases in Chinese visitors to Edinburgh and Scotland” Edinburgh Tourism Action Group Chair Robin Worsnop said.
According to Scottish statistics over 170,000 tourists of Chinese origin visited the Edinburgh Castle in 2017. A 50% of Edinburgh’s Chinese visitors also visit the Highlands; and 38% head to Glasgow.
“With numbers like these and the first-ever direct flight arriving from China in a month’s time, there’s never been a better time for Scotland’s tourism businesses to get China-Ready” one of the conference organizers said.
Among the guests at the conference are the owners of Scottish firms as Gretna Green, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, V&A Dundee, Peebles Hydro, Nevis Range and Harvey Nichols – as well as senior delegates from Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Development International and VisitScotland.
The direct flight service from China will be operated by Hainan Airlines starting Tuesday 12 June. The Scottish press reported that National China-Ready Conference Guest of Honour is Mr. Pan Xinchun, Chinese Consul General in Edinburgh.
The number of Chinese travelers visiting and experiencing the United Kingdom doubled in 2017 in comparison to the previous year, the Chinese online travel agency (OTA) Ctrip claims. As stated by the report, more than 60 thousand people booked a trip to Britain through their platform in 2016, and last year the number was twice bigger than the previous.
Aside of Brexit as the most main factor for such a significant increase of the number of tourists, other factors as more direct flights, the depreciation of the pound, an open skies agreement and also the facilitated Chinese travel to the UK have helped drive the growth of the Chinese tourist number.