Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Chinese tourism boom predicted for the UK

Now that China has made Britain an officially 'approved destination' the numbers of tourists visiting the UK from China is expected to increase dramatically in coming years.

In this article, The Times' Will Hide tags along with a group of Chinese tourists to see what they make of Cambridge, drinking lager in the rain, 99s and other British delights.

"This is just the first of many" says Huang, shepherding his group into the National Maritime Museum. "By 2020, 100 million Chinese will be travelling abroad of which five million could be coming to the UK".

Visit Britain, which promotes England abroad, is rubbing its hands in glee - not least because of the free-spending ways of the Chinese once they arrive. Forget Westminster Abbey and Edinburgh Castle; "what they really want is a day at Bicester Village shopping centre in Oxfordshire, a tour round Old Trafford to learn more about Manchester United, and plenty of Chinese meals," says Huang, "steak and kidney pie and fry-ups are definitely off the menu".

But wait, a fry-up is a British classic! You can't come all the way here and not try a Full English. Ah well, perhaps that's just another b.b.c. thing :)

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