The partnership will see London, Manchester, Birmingham and surrounding areas join forces to promote a unique tourism experience to Chinese visitors.
The project, called ‘Experience England’, will offer tailored packages for Chinese tourists looking to visit the thriving cities, as well as trips to picturesque English villages and countryside hot-spots such as The Lake District.
The initiative will offer a seamless holiday experience for Chinese visitors, providing a one-stop-shop for flights, hotels and transport between destinations alongside a range of fixed and flexible itineraries in multiple English destinations.
The packages will be available via leading Chinese travel provider, Qunar.com, enabling Chinese visitors to discover English landmarks, icons and culture including: shopping trips to London’s West End, a VIP trip to English Premier League Champions, Manchester City, and a tour of Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford.
The ground-breaking partnership between the three cities and Qunar was announced in Shanghai by London’s deputy mayor, Rajesh Agrawal, and Weiping He, chief technology officer and vice president of hotel business, Qunar.
Agrawal said: “London and China have deep-rooted cultural ties and this partnership is further proof of our special relationship.
“London’s world-class attractions, shops and restaurants makes our city a fantastic choice for Chinese visitors looking for a unique holiday experience.
“But we are also committed to working with other cities and regions across the country to showcase the very best of England’s diverse visitor offering.
“As the UK’s most connected city, London is an ideal starting point for international visitors wanting to explore the rest of the country.”
In the next decade, China is set to be the fastest growing market for overseas tourists into London, according to figures compiled by London & Partners, the mayor of London’s official promotional agency.
By 2025, the number of Chinese visitors to London is expected to increase by over 100 per cent.
Manchester, served by two direct flights from Beijing and Hong Kong, welcomes the second highest number of Chinese visitors in England and Marketing Manchester has been working in China for a number of years representing a consortium of Northern England partners such as the Lake District, Liverpool and York promoting Manchester as the Home of Football, City of Shopping and the Gateway to Northern England.
Weiping He added: “The recent rapid growth of Chinese tourists in England and their spending power has shown that Chinese tourists have strong potential for contributing to the growth and development of the tourism industry in England.
“We hope that through our in-depth cooperation with the Discover England Fund, we will promote more diversified travel products to land in China, allowing Chinese tourists to have a deeper understanding of England, stimulate interest in British travel, and travel there to experience the modern cities and beautiful countryside of England.”