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York business secures massive boost from Chinese tourism

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Scotts Fish and Chips owner, and FSB member, Tony Webster has used a variety of marketing techniques to secure a recent dramatic increase in business. 

Scotts has launched a Chinese website on Weibo, and utilised the messaging app Wechat, one of the East Asian country’s most popular social media platforms and advertised the restaurant to travel companies within China.  

Previously tour guide familiarisation visits in 2016 and 2017 had not brought extra trade, but Tony credits translation of menus into Chinese and Mandarin and accessing Chinese social media with the transformation to trade.

He added that being both receptive and responsive at short notice to press requests has led to Scotts newfound viral fame, with a press release initially being picked up from regional media, followed by a week of further national and international requests, all of which were accommodated at short notice. 

Scotts are supported in their efforts by Will Zhuang and his wife Jean, who manage Chinese social media for Visit York and Leeds City Region, who said “Scotts have a great location for tours, they have very friendly and flexible staff and high quality food, combining this with an online marketing strategy directed at Chinese platforms like WeChat has paid off”

The new online marketing strategy is paying dividends and this year the restaurant has seen a 15-fold increase in the number of Chinese coach parties paying Scotts Fish and Chips a visit. 

Tony Webster confirmed that “this week alone we served more than 100 Chinese tourists in three separate groups”. Mr Webster believes that the recent interest in Fish and Chips amongst Chinese tourists comes from Chinese President Xi Jinping sampling fish and chips when he visited the UK back in 2015.

The number of Chinese tourists visiting Britain has increased by 89% in the past five years, to 337,000 last year, according to Visit Britain. The Yorkshire region has seen a 100% increase in the number of Chinese tourists since 2012. With each Chinese tourist spending on average £2,059 during their visit to the UK, there are clearly large opportunities for FSB members to take advantage of.

FSB is delighted that one of our members has utilised social media and new technologies to tap into new markets and raise its profile. We encourage members who have not yet started to utilise social media to read our four top tips to getting started. There are also a number of tools that can help you best take advantage of new technologies in our online members area.