Sherwood Forest is to be given a special new Chinese name - in a bid to encourage more Asian tourists to visit Nottinghamshire.
Sherwood has been chosen to star in ‘GREAT Names for GREAT Britain’, a new marketing campaign launched by national tourism agency VisitBritain. The campaign is designed to encourage Chinese people to learn more about Britain by giving places and experiences they might not be familiar with a new Chinese name.
The Nottinghamshire landmark is among 101 points of interest around Britain that have been selected to feature in the campaign, which invites Chinese people to come up with the most fitting, meaningful and memorable Chinese names for British places, events, and things. In China it is popular to give Chinese names to favourite celebrities, places and foods - for example, British actor and Sherlock Holmes star, Benedict Cumberbatch, has been affectionately named ‘Curly Fu’ by his Chinese fans.
Sherwood Forest was chosen as being of particular interest to Chinese people, yet currently without a Chinese name.
The 101 British landmarks cover a wide range of locations and traditions across Britain and will be released in groups on social media over the next ten weeks. VisitBritain will use a variety of online and offline advertising, social and digital media and media relations to invite people in China to give ‘GREAT Names for GREAT Britain’.
The campaign hopes to attract more visitors from the rapidly-growing tourism Chinese market and encourage them to travel further afield around Britain. In 2013 Britain welcomed 196,000 visits from China (up 10% on 2012), which contributed £492 million to the UK’s economy (up 64% on 2012). Chinese tourists spend an average of £2,508 per visit compared to the overall average spend of £640 per visit.
Joss Croft, Marketing Director at VisitBritain said: “Naming is very popular in China and this is a fun way of getting Chinese people to think about and describe places and experiences across Britain, especially as some of the British names are difficult to translate or pronounce in Chinese. This campaign will raise the profile of the East Midlands among Chinese consumers and drive increased visits from this valuable tourism market. We would love local communities to get behind the campaign and suggest other places and locations to rename via our hashtag #greatnames.”
Jennifer Spencer, Chief Executive at Experience Nottinghamshire said: “Nottinghamshire already has some great links into China, largely thanks to the University of Nottingham and its campus there and the many businesses operating in the region. We provide Chinese visitors with translated content on our website to ensure they can access the information they need easily, and this new campaign will help raise awareness of some of the great reasons to include Nottinghamshire when planning a visit to Britain.”
Councillor John Knight, Committee Chairman for Culture, at Nottinghamshire County Council said: “We are extremely proud of our world-famous Sherwood Forest and initiatives which help to further promote the forest on the international stage are to be welcomed. 2014 has already been a special year for Sherwood with our Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the National Nature Reserve being granted SSSI (Site of Scientific Interest) status and events such as the Major Oak Woodland Festival and Sparkling Sherwood, which was supported by Awards for All and The Sherwood Forest Trust, as well as the 30th Robin Hood Festival.”