VisitBritain, under the leadership of Chairman Nick de Bois CBE, is set to re-engage with the Chinese market through its first trade mission to China since 2019.
This significant event, titled ‘Destination Britain China and North East Asia’, is scheduled to take place in Shanghai from 22nd to 24th November. The trade fair aims to foster business relationships by bringing together 43 British industry suppliers with 69 leading buyers from China, Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea.
During the three-day event, more than 2000 one-to-one business appointments are expected to occur, offering a platform for travel buyers to engage with British tourism suppliers. These suppliers, many participating in the Chinese market for the first time, range from hotels and visitor attractions to destination management companies, retailers, tour, and sightseeing operators. This diverse representation covers the entire expanse of Britain’s tourism offerings.
Nick de Bois, Chairman of VisitBritain, expressed his enthusiasm about leading the mission, which he sees as a crucial step in recovering from an essential visitor market. He highlighted the mission’s importance in re-establishing connections with travel trade across China and North East Asia. The event serves as an opportunity for British travel suppliers and destinations to present their tourism products and services to top buyers and explore new business ventures.
With a renewed interest in travel and Britain’s reinstatement on China’s Approved Destination Status list, this mission is also a prime opportunity to promote British hospitality. It aims to understand the motivations and trends driving outbound travel from the region. Attendees, including delegates and media, will be privy to insights about international travel market trends, seminars by VisitScotland, UK Visas and Immigration, Kendal Mountain Film Festival, and Virgin Atlantic Airways. These sessions are designed to enhance knowledge about Britain as a visitor destination and create a sense of urgency to visit.
VisitBritain will also showcase its GREAT Britain ‘See Things Differently’ campaign, highlighting fresh and exciting experiences available throughout Britain, encouraging visitors to explore more and travel across different seasons.
According to VisitBritain’s research, airline routes and seat capacity from China are showing a strong recovery, with flight bookings continuously building back up. The UK remains a top destination on the wish list of Chinese travelers. Current trends indicate that China is poised to become the UK’s second most valuable visitor market in the next two years. Flight bookings from China to the UK currently stand at about 50% of 2019 levels, a significant improvement from January when bookings were at just 6%.
In addition to the Destination Britain China and North East Asia trade mission, VisitBritain is continually working with industry partners to promote Britain’s unique tourism offerings and experiences that can only be found in the UK.