Trailblazing Chinese influencers boost Bristol businesses back home

Leisure & Tourism | South West

Media influencer Claire Wang enjoyed a whistle-stop tour of Bristol this week, reporting back to her millions of social media followers back home in China on the city’s many attractions.

Claire Wang is a major Chinese influencer with a staggering 1.9 million followers. Her visit has been facilitated on behalf of Visit Bath by Yang Ding from New Silk Road Digital. Yang also works with the Bristol and West of England China Bureau supporting UK and Chinese companies with their business development on social media platforms.

Yang Ding said: “Businesses across the West are partnering a new generation of visitors who use their massive social media networks to promote their experiences and travel opportunities in the area.

“Velius Travel kindly hosted a day trip for Claire including a flight in a hot air balloon, while DoubleTree by Hilton Bristol City Centre were very generous providing Claire’s accommodation during her visit.”

The power of Chinese Social Media through WeChat and Weibo is on a different scale altogether from the UK, racking up millions of followers who admire the influencers concerned and have ambitions to visit the UK to enjoy similar experiences themselves.

“Claire’s initial post about the Jane Austen Centre in Bath attracted 212,000 views, 45 reposts, 71 comments and 249 likes in less than 24 hours.”

Dianne Francombe, Chief Executive of the Bristol and West of England China Bureau, said: “We were thrilled to welcome Claire to Bristol to see the city and the tourist hotspots.

“The Bureau has been keen to capitalise on the extensive networks our Chief Representative Yang Ding is setting up across China, building bridges with local organisations and supporters to encourage high-profile visits to our region.

“This is a very powerful aspect of building a brand for the Bristol & Bath region in China. Hopefully, it will encourage more Chinese people to visit the city. And we know Chinese tourists always have an eye for potential business opportunities when visiting a country or city.”

John Dowling, General Manager at DoubleTree by Hilton Bristol City Centre, said they had been delighted to help Bristol and West of England China Bureau facilitate the visit and welcome Claire Wang to the hotel.

“We hope that Claire will experience Bristol at its best so that she can help promote the city in China. We have worked with The Bureau for a number of years, including hosting the last two Chinese New Year celebrations.”

Kate MacKellar-Still, Managing Director of Velius Travel, said: “We are just launching and hope that this influencer trip will give us good exposure in the Chinese market. Our mission is to showcase the best that the South West has to offer and each of our itineraries is bespoke to the client’s interests and needs.”

Claire commented: “We had a great time – we didn’t know anything about Bristol before we arrived but the tour was really interesting and we saw so many things we would never have understood without a guide. Bristol is now our favourite city in the UK!”

The Bristol and West of England China Bureau works unstintingly to connect the people of Bristol and the South West of England with the people of China and in particular Bristol’s Sister City of Guangzhou in Southern China to encourage greater mutual understanding between our two countries.

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