Tourism campaign gives Britain Chinese titles

People in China have renamed 101 British items as part of a VisitBritain campaign called GREAT names for GREAT Britain, which is worth £1.6 million.

It's all part of the tourism agency's target for doubling the annual spend from Chinese tourists in Britain by the year 2020.

Great names for Great Britain is said to link-in with a Chinese fashion for applying literal names to things like places.

The top three Chinese renamings for 101 British things, as determined by votes in the campaign, have now been revealed.

VisitBritain has been in talks with the attractions that have been provided with alternate names about which title they should pick.

The campaign is partly hosted on the social media services WeChat and Weibo, and has accessed an audience of close to 300 million people in China on these.

Over ten weeks, 13,000 possible names for British things were provided by the public via a tie-in microsite.

Results include Stoke on Trent being called 'Diverse Ceramics' (Wan Bo Tao Ci) and someone suggesting The Shard ought to be called 'A tower allowing us to pluck stars from the sky'.

"Chinese visitors already stay longer in Britain than in our European competitor destinations and are high spenders – every 22 additional Chinese visitors we attract supports an additional job in tourism," said VisitBritain chief executive, Sally Balcombe.

"We want to ensure that we continue to compete effectively in this, the world’s biggest outbound market and ensure that we deliver growth and jobs across the nations and regions of Britain."

She said VisitBritain is hoping that some popular re-named points of interest will be using the new titles as part of websites or social media pages.

Berkeley Scott is a leading London hotel recruitment agency.