The Lake District’s drive to attract more overseas visitors from China is continuing with an invitation to a group of London based Chinese tourism agents to find out more about what the area has to offer.
The Lake District China Forum has hosted a delegation of a dozen Chinese travel organisations from the capital on a two day visit to sample a range of attractions in and around Windermere.
The visit included first class rail travel to Oxenholme, from where the group was escorted by Mountain Goat Tours to see Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage, the Grasmere Gingerbread shop and Brockhole, with a lunch stop at The Wild Boar.
It also offered a guided tour around the ongoing development of Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa. The group were among the first to stay in the hotel’s newly refurbished rooms as it re-opened after the first phase of construction was completed. A restaurant, ‘Blue Smoke on the Bay’, spa and health club facilities are to open there in the coming months, with a new ‘Club House’ block of rooms and suites to be added in the autumn.
On the second day of the tour, the Chinese tour operators were taken to Grizedale and Hawkshead’s Fitzwilliam Gallery and Hill Top, before experiencing a cruise on a historic steamer with Windermere Lake Cruises, sailing to Lakeside and combining the trip with a steam train journey boarding the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway. They also visited The World of Beatrix Potter to enjoy an afternoon tea and the very popular international attraction.
“This was another valuable opportunity for us to showcase to the Chinese market everything we have to offer here in the Lake District and introduce new products and services” explains Jennifer Cormack from Windermere Lake Cruises, Chairman of Lake District China Forum. “As the number of Chinese visitors to the Lake District continues to rise, it follows that we need to tailor our offer to meet their expectations.”
Established in 2015 under the auspices of the Lake District National Park Authority, the Lake District China Forum has 10 members, including Windermere Lake Cruises and English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues. It has an international e-commerce, marketing and social media expert as part of its marketing capabilities, Lindale man, James Lester, who is fluent in Mandarin.
“The forum’s work is designed to enhance the exposure of the Lake District and continue to maximise the potential of the ever increasing number of inbound Chinese visitors to the UK” adds the forum’s marketing director, Colin Fox, from English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues.
“Listening to their requirements and showing off the range and quality of what the area offers helps elevate awareness within the Chinese tourism industry as well as positioning the Lake District as a top, must-visit destination for Chinese tourists coming to the UK.”