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Wed 27th November 2019
Top award recognises Castle Howard's growing international reputation
Latest From: Event

Castle Howard has scooped the prestigious International Tourism Award in the Welcome To Yorkshire White Rose Awards. Castle Howard received the accolade in recognition of its pioneering work marketing North Yorkshire to the Chinese market.

“We have worked incredibly hard to make Castle Howard more welcoming for the growing number of tourists coming to the UK from China. We are proud to be one of the first attractions in the country to accept WeChat Pay across our ticket office, cafés and retail outlets and this year have developed an innovative digital guide in Mandarin which Chinese visitors can stream onto their own smartphones as they explore the House,” explains Abbigail Ollive, Head of Marketing.

Castle Howard’s reputation received a massive boost in the Far Eastern market when the Taiwanese ‘King of Asian Pop’, Jay Chou, held his wedding reception at the venue in 2015. With almost 2.8 million Facebook fans, Chou’s social media following has helped boost Castle Howard’s profiles, with over 35,000 followers on Chinese WeChat and Weibo platforms – more than its domestic Facebook channel! With a Mandarin-speaking marketing and visitor assistant updating social media posts, and encouraging those who visit to share their experiences online, the sector is going from strength to strength.

It has been important for content to be tailored to the Chinese audience. “Like our website, this isn’t simply a case of translating what we already have, but actually creating new content based on shared history and interests to appeal to the visiting Chinese audience – for example, highlighting where Jay Chou held his wedding reception!”

“Bringing a Mandarin speaker member of the team on board has proved fantastically successful – attracting visitors to Castle Howard from China is one thing, but most importantly we ensure that an extremely warm welcome awaits to tour groups and independent Chinese visitors when they arrive, and we encourage them to share their stories and photos with their networks back in China” adds Abbigail.

Working in partnership with other tourism attractions and the regional and national tourism bodies is key to promoting the whole of Yorkshire to the world and the White Rose Awards highlighted the brilliant work being done in the sector to welcome oversees audiences to the culture, heritage and landscape the region has to offer. Chinese visitors now represent over 50% of Castle Howard’s International visitors each year, and with further developments and partnerships in the pipeline, should be a growth sector for many years to come.

Castle Howard has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with The Humble Administrator’s Garden, a world UNESCO Heritage site in Suzhou and the teams from both organisations are working closely on sharing conservation and heritage knowledge as well as exploring potential product development for the future.