Edinburgh Tourism Action Group (ETAG) has launched Scotland’s first-ever destination social media campaign in China to promote the Scottish capital to a potential online audience of more than one billion, supported by VisitScotland.
The Edinburgh Chinese Social Media Campaign, which has received a £40,000 funding boost from the national tourism organisation’s Growth Fund, aims to help continue the city’s record-breaking growth in Chinese visitor numbers.
The campaign will use influential Chinese social media sites, Weibo and WeChat, to serve up tips, itineraries and promotions in Mandarin from the city’s most popular tourism businesses, recommending key points of interest for Chinese travellers, such as history, architecture, film locations and shopping.
Adverts and promoted posts on social media and digital campaigns on influential travel sites such as CTrip (who recently acquired Edinburgh-based Skyscanner) will also promote the destination in key cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
Nineteen businesses have joined forces with ETAG to support the new social media channels targeting the world’s largest inbound visitor market.
China is an important and growing market for the Scottish tourism sector with Edinburgh remaining the second most popular UK destination after London. Official tourism figures reveal total average Chinese visitor spend to Scotland exceeded £43 million over the last three years and Edinburgh Castle alone welcomed more than 160,000 Chinese visitors in 2015.
Robin Worsnop, Chair of Edinburgh Tourism Action Group, said: “The growth of the Chinese visitor market to Edinburgh presents a great opportunity for the city’s tourism sector. We know Chinese visitors love our historic, walkable city, our top attractions, our architecture and our unique links to major films like Harry Potter.
“Working together as a group of businesses, and supported by Scottish Enterprise and the VisitScotland Growth Fund, we’re confident that these brand new official Edinburgh channels on Chinese social media platforms will help Scotland’s capital become a “must see, must visit” destination for Chinese visitors.”
Manuela Calchini, Regional Director at VisitScotland, said: "China has huge growth potential for tourism in Scotland and we’re delighted to support the Edinburgh Chinese Social Media Campaign, through the VisitScotland Growth Fund.
“The campaign will give a platform to promote the very best of what Edinburgh has to offer: from its stunning architecture, fascinating history and world-renowned festivals to its delicious food and drink. And with the Scottish capital receiving 87% of Chinese visitors to Scotland, the success of this campaign will no doubt be felt far beyond the city walls.
“With Edinburgh playing a prominent role in the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, it is the perfect opportunity to encourage Chinese visitors to come face to face with history and explore our rich cultural heritage.”
Julie Trevisan-Hunter, Head of Marketing for the Scotch Whisky Experience said: “We have been focusing on the Chinese market for many years having introduced Mandarin Chinese to our audio guides as far back as 2005. In addition to language facilities our developments include staff training, trade relationship building, PR and accepting China Union Pay. The results speak for themselves with China now taking position as our third largest international market.
“In order to be able to take our activity to the next level we really needed the support and strength of destination collaboration and we’re thrilled to be working closely with other partners to promote Edinburgh to Chinese visitors on Weibo and WeChat.”
The channels will be managed by ETAG’s newly appointed Chinese Social Media Coordinator Alice He (from Hubei Province in China, and recent graduate of Tourism Marketing Management at Strathclyde Business School) and supported by Chinese Marketing Agency PingPong Digital.
This latest marketing push to the Chinese market is the next phase of the city’s China-Ready initiative - launched by ETAG in 2015 and supported by Scottish Enterprise - which has seen over 200 hotels, visitor attractions, universities, festivals and retailers across the city engage with cultural awareness workshops, guides and meetings aimed at increasing Chinese visitor numbers and developing the city’s position as a China friendly destination.
Danny Cusick, Director of Food & Tourism, Tourism and Textiles, Scottish Enterprise said: “Building awareness of Edinburgh through these new social media channels will not only support our ambitions for growing Chinese tourism to Edinburgh and Scotland, but complements Scottish Enterprise’s wider work to promote Scottish products, such as food, drink and textiles to the Chinese market.”
The channels, and associated digital advertising campaign in China, bring together and showcase a range of attractions and businesses that are working hard to promote themselves in China and develop products and services to attract this influential and lucrative market.
Partners of the Edinburgh Chinese Social Media Campaign are:
- Edinburgh Airport
- Edinburgh Castle
- Edinburgh First
- Haggis Adventures
- Laing Edinburgh
- Scotch Whisky Experience
- Turkish Airlines
- Camera Obscura
- Essential Edinburgh
- Marketing Edinburgh
- Multrees Walk
- National Galleries Scotland
- National Museums Scotland
- Palace of Holyroodhouse
- Royal Yacht Britannia
- Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa
- World Duty Free Ltd
For more on the Edinburgh China Ready Initiative go to http://www.etag.org.uk/china/
For more on the VisitScotland Growth Fun go to www.visitscotland.org
- ENDS -
Notes to Editors
- Weibo is a micro-blogging website in China, similar to Twitter, and has almost 300 million monthly active users.
- WeChat is China’s closest equivalent to WhatsApp and Facebook, and has over 800 million active monthly users.
- Figures from the World Tourism Cities Federation’s 2015 Chinese Outbound Tourism study reported that 75% of Chinese outbound tourists rely on Weibo and WeChat for travel preparations. Most Chinese nationals are unable to access Western channels such as Google, Facebook and Twitter.
- Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
- VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
- The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
- This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
- Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland to visit different parts of the country
- Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
- Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
- Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
- Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
- Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
- Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
- VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
- The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
- Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP.
- The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit www.gov.scot or follow @scotgovESIF
- For VisitScotland’s press releases go to http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/
- Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
- For holiday information on Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com
- For information about business events in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com
2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design
- 2016 will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design through a wide-ranging, variety of new and existing activity.
- The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design started on 1 January 2016 and will end on 31 December 2016.It will build on the momentum generated by the 2015 Year of Food and Drink as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
- Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland’s position as an “innovation nation”, its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector.
- The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).
- The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
- The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
- Join the conversation at #IAD2016