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Scotland Gives Chinese Names to Locations and Landmarks

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Videos Tuesday, 17 February 2015

After ten weeks of voting across China, the results of VisitBritain’s £1.6 million ‘Great Names for Great Britain’ campaign are in.

Ahead of Chinese New Year celebrations, the national tourism agency has revealed the new Mandarin names for twenty-three points of interest across Scotland, as chosen by the Chinese public.

VisitBritain’s biggest ever marketing campaign in China builds on the trend of giving relatable Mandarin names to favourite celebrities, places and foods.

The campaign reached nearly 300 million potential Chinese tourists via the national tourism agency’s influential Weibo and WeChat social media platforms across China, and over two million people visited the campaign pages with nearly 30 million Chinese people watching the launch video. 13,000 new names were suggested throughout the ten weeks.

Glen Coe received the third highest number of votes overall -24,505 - in the whole campaign, whilst The Highland Games was the most popular Scottish point of interest to name, with a total of 235 suggestions. 

Joss Croft, Marketing Director at VisitBritain said, “We want Britain to be the most attractive and welcoming destination for Chinese travellers in Europe. The naming campaign has given these Scottish locations and landmarks huge exposure across China and created an affinity with potential tourists. We hope the points of interest involved will embrace their new Mandarin name to help them compete for more high-spending tourists from the world’s biggest outbound tourism market.”

Some of the highlights out of the three naming options are as follows:

Point of interest

Mandarin name



Highland Games


The Willow Tea Rooms


Arbroath Smokies


Malt Whisky Trail


Loch Fyne




Fingal's Cave


Glen Coe


The Style Mile


The National Wallace Monument


Culzean Castle


Glenfinnan Viaduct


The Elephant House


Royal Mile


Eilean Donan Castle


Balmoral Castle & Estate


The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo


Loch Ness Monster


The Kelpies


Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park


Cairngorms National Park


George Street


Denise Hill, Head of International Marketing at VisitScotland, said, “This campaign has thrown up some truly inspiring and engaging names for Scottish icons, with the Glenfinnan Viaduct described as ‘Highland Rainbow’ and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park becoming ‘Mountain Lakes Get You Drunk on Dreams’ being particular highlights! The Great Names campaign has proved a fun and entertaining way for us to engage with Scotland’s Chinese market, which is growing year-on-year. These extraordinary new monikers will only serve to lend even more intrigue and romance to places throughout Scotland which in turn will lead to further increases in visits from China . William Shakespeare once asked: ‘What’s in a name?’ It seems the answer is a great deal!”

The most recent inbound tourism figures show that in the first nine months of 2014, Britain welcomed 156,000 visits from China which contributed £411 million to the UK’s economy. Chinese tourists currently spend an average of £2,508 per visit compared to the overall average spend of £640 per visit.

VisitBritain, VisitScotland, China, Scotland, Whisky, Edinburgh, Glasgow

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