Chinese re-naming campaign unveiled by VisitBritain

Consumers in China are being given the chance to provide new alternate Chinese names for famous things and people in Britain, as part of a VisitBritain marketing campaign.

In 'GREAT names for GREAT Britain', a range of 101 attractions, people, places and things that do not have a different name in China are set to be re-named by the public for fun.

The £1.6 million initiative launched December 5th and is the biggest Britain-themed tourism campaign yet in China. It's also the first campaign of its sort to be run by a national tourist board.

VisitBritain explains that there's a popular practice in China of re-naming foods, celebrities and more with more descriptive titles.

In China, Stonehenge is literally referred to as 'huge stone clusters' or Ju Shi Zhen. Buckingham Palace is Bai Jin Han Gong: 'a white, gold and splendid palace'. The Gherkin is called Xiao Huang Gua, 'the pickled little cucumber'.

The new campaign was unveiled on social media with the initial collection of things to re-name, which includes Chatsworth and Kensington Palace.

Also included on the overall 101 strong list are Hampton Court Palace, Haggis, the Wales Coastal Path, Brighton Pier and The Shard. The Loch Ness Monster, Beefeaters and Scottish kilts are included, too.

The tourist board is also working with the Home Office and UK Visas and Immigration on the initiative.

It's planned that the new Chinese titles for famous British things and people will be revealed in March next year.

“Our ambition is to get the whole of China talking about Britain. This campaign will not only increase awareness of the experiences that Britain has to offer but help encourage these valued Chinese guests to explore our nations and regions," commented VisitBritain chief executive, Sally Balcombe.

Berkeley Scott is a specialist hospitality recruitment agency.