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Chinese visitor numbers more than treble in two years at Blenheim Palace

Chinese visitors at Blenheim Palace
The number of Chinese tourists visiting Blenheim Palace has increased by more than 360% since 2014 according to new figures.  
In 2015 close to 16,000 pre-booked groups from China visited the Oxfordshire palace and ancestral home of the Dukes of Marlborough.  
More than half that number have already booked for this year and staff are anticipating many more bookings in the coming months.

“Over the past two years we have introduced a number of new initiatives aimed at welcoming more visitors from China and it seems to be having a positive effect,” said Blenheim Palace Head of Marketing Stephanie Hendley.  

“These figures only cover those visitors who pre-book and we also have a significant number of tourists who arrive without having booked so the actual figures are even higher.  

“As Kidlington village is less than four miles away from the Palace we also suspect the sudden increase in Chinese visitors stopping off there may not be entirely unconnected,” she added.  

The UNESCO World Heritage Site, and birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, was among the first UK visitor attractions to accept China’s UnionPay bank cards in its shops.  

UnionPay is the most widely used bank debit card throughout China and South East Asia.  

As well as accepting UnionPay cards, Blenheim Palace has also produced a new map and leaflet in Mandarin and was one of the founder members of VisitBritain’s ‘China Welcome’ initiative.  

The programme’s aim is to make Britain the most welcoming destination in Europe for the Chinese, and secure 650,000 Chinese visitors spending £1.1 billion by 2020 across Britain.  

Other members include Virgin Atlantic, Celtic Manor in Wales, the John Lewis partnership, Bicester Village, Selfridges, Harrods and The Roman Baths in Bath.  

According to tourism figures the Chinese inbound market is worth in excess of £300 million to Britain and is growing at a rate of 25% a year.

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