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China in your hand....
York Scoops Award for China Marketing

A prestigious ‘China Tourist Welcome’ award (CTW) has been bestowed on Visit York, for all of its work to market York to Chinese visitors. The announcement came today at the China Outbound Travel and Tourism Market (COTTM) in Beijing; now in its 11th year, COTTM is regarded as the tourism industry’s most important travel exhibition, attracting attendance from tour operators across China.

Part of this exhibition is the China Tourist Welcome (CTW) annual Awards ceremony which rewards and celebrates destinations and companies who show best practice in marketing to and welcoming Chinese visitors. Recognized inside and outside China as the most important quality sign for the international Chinese visitor, an international jury including Chinese tourism experts decided on the winners. These gold, silver and bronze CTW Awards were given to 15 companies from many continents and from different segments of the tourism industry, Visit York was given Gold in the ‘Best Performance’ category.

Michelle Brown, Marketing Manager for Visit York, said, ‘We’re thrilled to receive this accolade. Whilst China is not yet in our top five overseas markets, it has huge potential to grow and we’re getting ready now to ensure York benefits from this important visitor market. We’ve a lot more work to do but this award means York can now go forward to gain certification for the Chinese Tourist Welcome Quality label.’

With an overall number of 97 million border-crossings from Mainland China in 2013 and almost 100 billion Euros spent in 2013 on international travel, the strong development of the Chinese outbound tourism market is continuing. The Chinese outbound market is by far the number one international tourism source market globally. In York China has risen from 19th to 10th position as a top source market for the city over the last ten years.

Prof Dr Wolfgang Arlt, from the Chinese Outbound Tourism Research Institute said, ‘I’d like to congratulate York on all it has done to market to Chinese visitors. Today all national tourism organisations agree it’s necessary to prepare to offer quality services for Chinese customers. These awards encourage creativity, professionalism and innovation within the worldwide Chinese outbound market.’

China has been chosen as a priority overseas market for Visit York and six businesses have joined forces with the tourism agency to market there; York Minster, York’s CHOCOLATE Story, the National Railway Museum, York Designer Outlet, Castle Howard and The Grand Hotel & Spa. Last year Visit York gained VisitBritain’s ‘Great China Welcome’ charter and Dr Wolfgang Arlt was also the keynote speaker at Visit York’s annual tourism conference on 4 December.

In 2014 Visit York produced its first visitor guide in Mandarin Chinese and also made this available as an APP/e-brochure. Following on from this a brand new edition of the guide will be produced for Summer 2015. Marketing Manager for Visit York Michelle Brown also attended a Visit Britain sales mission in Guangzhou in November last year, where she met with ninety Chinese tour operators. 1,000 York postcards were added to welcome bags at the show, signposting visitors to York’s new Chinese APP. Judges praised Visit York’s work in promoting in China and were particularly impressed to see two Chinese volunteers working in the Visit York Information Centre.

Visit York’s new Chinese video for York has already achieved 361,000 views in China and twenty eight tour operators attended a familiarization visit to York in February this year, organized with VisitBritain. ENDS
• China is the biggest outbound tourism source market in the world with more than 160 US$ spent by 116 million travellers in 2014
• COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute is the world's leading independent research institute for information, training, quality assessment, research, and consulting relating to the Chinese outbound tourism market

Further information can be found on

Chinese Tourist Welcome Award Winners 2015

1. Product Innovation:
Ministry of Tourism Ecuador – Gold

2. Service Quality:
Società per Azioni Esercizi Aeroportuali - S.E.A. -AEROPORTI MILANO LINATE E MALPENSA - Gold

3. Marketing:
VisitAberdeen - Bronze
Consorzio di valorizzazione culturale La Venaria Reale - Gold

4. Internet/Media:
Levi Tourist Office - Bronze
DIMA - Silver

5. Overall Performance:
Tallink Silja Line 塔林客诗丽雅游轮公司 - Bronze
VisitBritain’s GREAT China Welcome programme - Silver
Visit York - Gold

Interview Opportunities: please call us to set up interviews

For further information please contact:
Kay Hyde – Head of Communications – Visit York
Direct Line: 01904 554451
Mobile: 07506 048852

Katie Parsons – Senior Communications Executive – Visit York
Direct Line: 01904 554436

Notes to the Editor

• Visit York is supported by the City of York Council and over 700 tourism businesses and works in partnership with VisitEngland.
• Visit York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure and business visitor, and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York. Visit York is responsible for leisure and conference marketing, visitor services (running the city’s Visitor Information Centre), training and ensuring a quality visitor experience.
• Visit York is the driving force of the city’s tourism industry. Key facts: 6.7 million visitors annually, £573 million total visitor spend, supporting 19,000 jobs