Glamis Castle celebrated another milestone on Friday in its bid to attract more Chinese visitors.
A senior delegation arrived from Penglai Pavilion – one of China’s most prestigious heritage venues – following a twinning agreement signed with Glamis Castle 10 years ago.
After a tour of the castle, the focus was on how best to promote Glamis to the growing number of Chinese tourists visiting Scotland and the U.K.
Doreen Stout, Glamis Castle’s business manager, said: “We are delighted to welcome such a senior delegation from Penglai Pavilion which has around 1.5 million visitors each year.
“The growing affluence of Chinese travellers means more visitors will be attracted to the UK each year. Our formal Chinese twinning links with Penglai Pavilion and with the Great Wall of China now provide us with a ready platform to market Glamis more effectively in China.
“We are developing a range of actions including reciprocal web links, point of sale information about Glamis Castle and staff exchanges.”
Penglai Pavilion is one of China’s four most prestigious heritage temples considered by the Chinese Government as being of national importance due to its historic and significant cultural interest in China and the Far East.
Penglai City is situated within Yantai Municipality (Shandong Province) which was twinned with Angus in 1999.
The original twinning with Glamis Castle arose from a trade mission arranged by Angus Council.
The formal agreement between Glamis and Penglai was signed at a major tourism conference in Jinan (capital of Shandong) China PRC on October 18, 2006 attended by Councillor Rob Murray who at that time was leader of Angus Council.
The delegation from Penglai Pavilion was arranged by local businessman Dave Valentine MBE, who in his former role as Angus Council’s Economic Development Chief, was responsible for facilitating the original agreement between Glamis and Penglai.
Dave said: “I’m proud of the business to business links we established between Angus and China and especially this link between Glamis and Penglai. As everyone is now aware, China has emerged as a significant market for tourism and I’m keen to play my part in realising a dividend from this work. In my role as International Ambassador for Scottish Chambers of Commerce and as an Honorary citizen of Yantai I’m delighted to support Glamis Castle as we move forward.”
Jim Clarkson, Regional Director for VisitScotland added: “VisitScotland is committed to supporting industry in their aspirations to internationalise and to attract more business and income from global markets. It is therefore fantastic to see Glamis Castle welcome a senior delegation from China’s illustrious Penglai Pavilion this week. I’m sure the visit will offer valuable insight on how we can shine a spotlight on one of Angus’ greatest assets in an important emerging market for Scottish tourism.”
Among the guests on Friday was former Angus Provost Bill Middleton who was provost of Angus in 2006 and who visited the Penglai Pavilion.