With a goal of inspiring more Chinese travellers to book a trip to Britain, the bureau has announced a collaboration with Chinese conglomerate Tencent, one of the world’s most valuable technology companies responsible for WeChat.
Online gamers in China can now tour Britain virtually on two new tracks, exploring ‘British Castles’ themed around Windsor Castle and ‘North Sea Fishery’ which is based on Britain’s seaside villages.
QQ Speed’s main virtual character ‘Little Mandarin’ Xiao Juzi has also been appointed as a VisitBritain goodwill ambassador for the Chinese market.
“A new audience of millions in China”
Patricia Yates, VisitBritain’s director said: “China is the world’s most valuable outbound market and we want Britain to be the destination of choice for Chinese travellers. Our collaboration with Tencent’s QQ Speed is a great opportunity to tap into a new audience of millions in China, inspiring visitors to book a trip right now to explore more of our nations and regions.”
The UK saw record visits from China in the first half of 2018 with 137,000 visits, up 19% on the same period last year. According to VisitBritain, for every 22 visits from China, one job is created in Britain’s tourism industry.
Furthermore, last year saw China enter the UK’s top 10 most valuable inbound visitor markets. Visitors from China are some of the UK’s highest spenders, spending an average of GBP 2,059 (USD 2,633) during their visit — more than three times the all-market average.
“The most popular racing game both on PC and mobile in China”
Tencent Interactive Entertainment Group’s marketing director, Xinglun Liu, added: “The collaboration with VisitBritain and QQ Speed is an affirmation of its influence among young adults. As the most popular racing game both on PC and mobile in China, we hope to help more people understand and learn about different cultures through gaming.”
VisitBritain has ambitions to increase spend from Chinese visitors to GBP 1 billion annually by 2020.