A new tourism drive to promote the Cotswolds in China is to be launched to coincide with Chinese New Year on February 10th. The campaign, which builds on a history of GFirst's award-winning tourism success in Asia, includes a push for press and TV coverage in China, use of Chinese social media and an entirely new Chinese website, purpose built for the market.
The new website, which is hosted in China, is entirely a 'Gloucestershire' production. Cotswolds Tourism, based at GFirst, has worked with local web technology company Jatech and Join in China, the Cotswolds-based China marketing and web design company.
Jatech was commissioned by Join in China on behalf of GFirst to help create a Chinese web site promoting the Cotswolds as a holiday destination for Chinese people.
To create the website, Jatech had to research Chinese website design protocols which use longer columns of text than English, which uses more links and tabs. Gfirst wrote the copy which Join in China translated into Mandarin.
One of the problems Jatech had to resolve was finding a company in Hong Kong to host the website as the Chinese web is protected from Western intrusion by what is called 'The Great Firewall of China'.
Nick Rowntree from Jatech said: "This has been a great project to work on - a lot of fun.
"One of the main features of this website is that the client can amend it without coming back to us. We use an incredibly flexible, easy to use content management system called Umbraco.
"This means that if a new hotel open in the Cotswolds it can be added to the listed attractions very simply by the client without any technical knowledge."
Chris Dee, GFirst Tourism Manager commented: "We know from three years of groundwork that the Gloucestershire/Cotswolds tourism offer - clean air, natural beauty and luxury - is attractive to the China market as it begins slowly to move beyond London."
"Tourism businesses are invited to join our China partnership, now that we are experiencing the change from a promising market to one that is beginning to deliver. Our aim is to work with Join in China to help businesses to adapt to cultural differences in this new market and to deliver on the traditional New Year greeting 一本萬利 (Yi ben wan li) which roughly translates as 'may a small investment bring ten-thousandfold profits'.