International Campaign - China

Key facts (Pre-pandemic) 

Inbound visitor statistics:

  • China is Britain’s 22nd source market for visits (10th for spend)
  • Estimated to be York’s 2nd largest overseas market, after entering the top 5 years ago.
  • Our fastest growing market in terms of volume (11% including Hong Kong)
  • Almost all holiday visitors from China are Chinese nationals China is the most valuable market for international tourism expenditure, with a worldwide spend of US$277bn in 2018
  • Direct route from Beijing to Manchester with Hainan Airlines
  • Sister city agreement with Nanjing for tourism, education and business activity
  • Buzzseekers and Culture Buffs are VisitBritain’s priority segments in the Chinese market
  • Chinese visitors tend to be younger than the average visitor to the UK: about 46% of visits from China were made by people aged 16-34 years old in 2018
  • Those visiting Britain from China are more likely than average to be making their first visit
  • 73% of departing staying holidaymakers from China were ‘extremely likely’ to recommend Britain for a holiday or short-break in 2017
  • The Chinese associate Britain highly with ‘museums’, and also films and sports
  • Visitors appreciate ‘support’ in the form of Chinese language facilities (signage, Mandarin-speaking staff, Chinese TV channels, for example
Ongoing activity:
  • Continuing to build our Chinese database of operators (77 contacts to date
  • VY e-news featuring your content in Mandarin. (Open rate 14.5 %)
    CAISSA, U-tour, GZL, Guangdong Nanhu Int, China Bamboo Garden, CHR, Q Travel, CITS and China Holidays have featured York in their programmes
  • OTAs – featuring York and the Visit York Pass include, Linktour and Tuniu
  • Part of the Great China Welcome Charter which has currently been awarded to 300 UK businesses
  • Attendance at Guanxi's Chinese Leaders evening in November 2022
  • Sister city agreement with Nanjing and partnership work with Suzhou

NEW Chinese Student Ambassador programme with the University of York:

In September 2022 we launched our new programme to handpick 10 students to deliver a year round programme on Chinese social media channels, to showcase York including our key partners. We will select 10 students to undergo a training programme of what is required and facilitate a monthly series of visits to our key partners and events to make sure we are creating new and exciting content to engage with the resident Chinese student audience in York and to entice their friends and family to visit when the time is right. Using Weibo, WeChat and Chinese TikTok - Douyin. We will also be sharing visits to Leeds to tap into their students as well.

Online/Social Media Activity:

  • Social media – VY has accounts on Weibo (over 556,000 followers) and WeChat (over 10,000) which are the preferred methods of communication with the Chinese audience with half a billion users signed up to these channels. Keep us updated with your news and OE Media will post out on your behalf
  • The opportunity for 2 bespoke interview sessions with OE Media (Will & Jean Zhuang, Shuai and Yani Lin) to create content for new stories on Weibo and WeChat and Douyin
  • Re-starting our KOL (Key opinion leader) programme with social media influencers being invited and hosted by the city as soon as this is possible again, generating content for key platforms such as Mafengwo, and Qyer


We will be producing a new Mandarin video and commissioning new photography for our partners using Chinese models.

Previous on territory work – Destination Britain China & North East Asia (TBC)

  • Visit York has attended VisitBritain sales missions in various Chinese locations traditionally held in November we will be looking out for when these are able to return
  • Chinese itinerary produced in Mandarin. Key partner flyer included and loaded up onto the Chinese version of the toolkit

See current Chinese toolkit here:

For more information on Visit York’s China marketing activity or to enquire how you can get involved, contact Michelle Brown, Marketing Manager email

Research has revealed insights into how the UK’s inbound tourism organisations can attract more Chinese visitors

The research conducted pre pandemic was produced by Qa Research in association with UKinbound, the trade body representing Britain’s inbound tourism sector, offers a potential roadmap for businesses wishing to engage in a market worth £700m a year to the UK economy.

Gain an insight into attracting more Chinese visitors ►