Tourism bosses in Harrogate are to re-brand the town in an attempt to attract visitors from the rapidly growing Chinese tourism market.
Brimham Rocks, the town of Harrogate itself and the World Heritage site of Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal have been chosen to star in a new international marketing campaign which is designed to encourage Chinese people to learn more about some of Britain’s lesser-known places by giving them a new name.
The three locations will be included in the 101 points of interest around Britain, selected by national tourism agency VisitBritain and feature in a ground-breaking campaign which invites Chinese people to come up with the most fitting, amusing, meaningful, and memorable Chinese names for British places, events, and things.
Joss Croft, marketing director at VisitBritain said: “Names are very important in China and this campaign will raise the profile of these visitor destinations and of course lead to more visits from such a lucrative country.
“This is a fun way of getting Chinese people to think about and describe some places in Britain, especially as some of the British names of these places or things are meaningless or difficult to literally translate or even pronounce for the Chinese. But it doesn’t stop there, we’d like local communities to get behind this campaign and suggest other places and locations on Twitter using #greatnames.”
In 2013 China was Britain’s thirteenth most important inbound tourism market in terms of revenue and the number of Chinese nationals travelling overseas is expected to top 100 million this year for the first time.
Michael Newby, director of Visit Harrogate said: “Our key global message is that Harrogate and its wider district is a major player in the nation’s tourism and having three iconic destinations nominated within this global campaign is a privilege.
“We’re looking forward to getting as many people as possible involved in submitting ideas. It’s open to everyone through social media. It’s a fun process and requires a touch of creativity. Harrogate’s associations with health and happiness may bless us with good chi.”
He added: “This year has seen a major step change in our activities to promote the region and this campaign is just one element within that. Not only are we building on the legacy of Le Tour, with Harrogate nominated as the third most romantic place to visit in the world and the happiest place to live, we’ve had much to celebrate. This adds just another string to our bow and we look forward to unveiling the winning Chinese names in the spring.”
Brimham Rocks’, Harrogate and Fountains Abbey’s new Chinese names are likely to be unveiled in March.
In Mandarin Harrogate is Hā luō gài tè, and spa town is Wēnquán zhèn. Show town is Xiù zhèn and Jewel of Yorkshire is Yuēkè jùn de bǎoshí. Bettys is Bèidì sī in Mandarin and fat rascal is Zhīfáng liúmáng.