Last month, Bristol-based SS Great Britain provided the venue for a travel industry reception, delivered by representatives of China’s Hunan Province who were in England to promote the region’s spectacular landscapes and its world-class historic and cultural associations.
The Right Honorable Lord Mayor of Bristol, Councillor Jos Clark, began the event by welcoming Yu Xinrong, Secretary of the Party Committee of the Hunan Culture and Tourism Department, who then described Hunan’s unique culture, its stunning scenery and its distinctive regional cuisine.
Shelley Nania, Head of International Affairs for Bristol City Council and John Hirst, CEO of Destination Bristol, then outlined Bristol’s partnership with Hunan Province and its focus on the integration of culture and tourism, and the development of both inbound and outbound markets to the mutual advantage of both destinations.
CEO John Hirst then introduced a surprise VIP guest speaker, Andrew Stokes, Director England at VisitBritain who is currently leading the delivery of the £40 million ‘Discover England Fund’ and the promotion of English regional tourist destinations, such as Bristol.
The grand launch of the Splendid Hunan photo exhibition at Colston Hall was held the following day, featuring large-format prints of the stunning landscapes and folk customs of the province. Specially-invited traditional artists displayed a range of unique Hunanese crafts, including embroidery, wood-block printing and Flower Brick tea.
The visit signifies the bond between two of the UK and China’s fastest-growing tourism destinations, and underlines the commitment between both Destination Bristol and the Hunan Culture and Tourism Department to support one another in their international promotional endeavours. With China set to become the world’s most visited country by 2030, travel agents and tour operators from across the UK were able to learn more about Hunan’s offerings, ensuring they can keep their products up to date with the growing demand for this incredible province.
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