Road signs in the Norfolk Broads could be displayed in Mandarin
PUBLISHED: 14:49 07 March 2016 | UPDATED: 14:49 07 March 2016
Archant Norfolk 2016
Road signs across Norfolk could be displayed in Chinese in future to help drive more visitors to the area.
Tourism chiefs made the revelation after taking 29 travel delegates from across China on a tour of the county at the weekend as part of a week-long visit to showcase the best of Britain during English Tourism Week, which runs from March 5-13.
They are working with operators on various projects to make foreign visitors feel more welcome, including translating tourist information signs into Chinese.
Travis Qian, who looks after VisitBritain’s operation in China, said: “Chinese visitors are attracted to Britain by its culture and heritage in the UK, and also natural beauty and very clean air.
“We have a welcome scheme that we’re promoting and tour operators trying to stage a better welcome for Chinese visitors and the whole of the international tourists in future.Improved signage, or translation of leaflets, would definitely help.”
Last year a record number of overseas visitors arrived in the UK, with the East of England seeing visits grow by 5pc during the first nine months of 2015 to be worth £1.7m.
Yesterday, the Chinese delegation visited Stalham for a cruise, organised by Richardson’s Boating Holidays, on the Norfolk Broads.
Other highlights of their trip to Norfolk included a visit to the Bure Valley Railway, a tour of Norwich City Football Club and dinner at Delia’s restaurant.
When asked if they had considered installing Chinese signs in the national park, Bruce Hanson, tourism officer for the Broads Authority, said: “It is something we are thinking of doing, we haven’t done as yet but we very much intend to do it. Chinese tourists in Britain are the highest spending of all foreign tourists; they spend on average £2,700 each and stay for about 10 days and that is perfect for a Broads boating holiday.
“They are keen on the cultural heritage and natural world and we’ve got it all here.”