Heathrow Airport is joining the China tourism campaign after receiving Visit Britain’s new Great China Welcome Charter in recognition of the airport’s friendly welcome to Chinese visitors.
The Charter aims to help Chinese visitors to easily identify hotels, attractions as well as retailers and tour operators who provide customers with information in Chinese.
The Charter comes at a time when Air China is looking to double its flights from Heathrow to Beijing in October, when Heathrow will have 51 departures per week to the mainland and 50 to Hong Kong. That would also make Heathrow the only UK airport where passengers can travel direct to destinations including Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing and Chengdu.
Chris Butler, Heathrow’s Airline Business Development Director, said, ‘China is one of the most valuable markets for the UK and Heathrow is the only airport in the country able to offer regular, direct flights to both Hong Kong and cities in the mainland. We all gain culturally and economically with closer links there, which is why we were delighted to announce Air China’s doubling of services from Heathrow to Beijing, and why we have recently produced a travel guide in Mandarin for Chinese passengers to help provide them with more information about Heathrow when they arrive.’
Jo Leslie, who manages the Great China Welcome programme for Visit Britain, said, ‘There is strong evidence that businesses who go the extra mile in catering for certain nationalities quickly reap the benefits. Heathrow Airport has been quick to recognise the massive potential of the Chinese market and invested accordingly. We’re delighted to be able to count them as one of our members and hope that many more British tourism and hospitality businesses will follow their example.’
The Great China Welcome Charter was launched in March by Visit Britain to make Britain the destination of choice for the fast growing Chinese market. The Charter now has close to 200 members as Chinese visitors to Britain have doubled in the past five years, and is expected to treble again by 2020.