VisitBritain courts Chinese tourists with mandarin translations
Tourism body VisitBritain is mounting a charm offensive to lure more lucrative Far East visitors to these shores by renaming some of the country’s best known landmarks in Mandarin.
This approach is seeing the prosaic English names replaced with the more poetic approach commonplace in China with attractions such as The Shard renamed as A Tower Allowing Us To Pluck Stars From The Sky.
Other flowery tongue twisters include Big White Streaker for the Cerne Abbas Giant and Mountain Lakes Get You Drunk on Dreams, otherwise known as Loch Lomond.
The unconventional approach was settled upon after tourist chiefs realised many place names were not directly translatable into mandarin, necessitating an online appeal to the Chinese community to come up with alternatives which their fellow countrymen would find more descriptive.
These translations could now be used in signage and on websites as part of a wider campaign to boost tourism from the nascent superpower to the UK.
In 2014 Chinese visitors spent £500m on visits to the UK but this figure is expected to double to £1bn by 2020.