VisitBritain, the national tourist board, has announced a partnership with Hainan Airlines and online travel agent Alitrip in China to attract more Chinese visitors to Britain.
Following last year's record number of 270,000 visits from Chinese tourists who spent £586m, VisitBritain aims to double spend to £1b by 2020.
More Chinese visitors are now expected to travel to the UK following the announcement of five new airline routes from the provincial Chinese cities of Changsha, Chengdu, Qingdao, Shenzhen and Xi'an.
VisitBritain director Patricia Yates said that Britain is currently offering great value for Chinese visitors. "We want to deliver a world-class visitor experience for Chinese customers. Working with commercial partners Hainan Airlines we're making it easier to travel to Britain through increasing route connectivity and seat-capacity, a crucial part of our competitive tourism offer. And by amplifying our marketing reach in China with Alitrip, showcasing the diversity of experiences and destinations across Britain, we're converting the inspiration to visit into bookings, driving our ambitious plans for growth."
Jianfeng Sun, president of Hainan Airlines, described the agreement as "an important milestone" which marks "the beginning of a brand new phase in the Sino-British tourism industry and airway development".
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