Nǐ xiǎng hē diǎn shénme? According to Google Translate that’s Chinese for ‘What would you like to drink?’
And plenty of publicans should start to learn how to say the phrase, after it was announced that the Chinese and UK governments have reached a deal to remove the cap on the number of flights between the two countries.
Currently limited to 80 flights a week, this is set to soar (sorry, we couldn’t help that one) to 200 bringing with them tens of thousands of new Chinese tourists.
No decision has yet been made regarding which airlines will bring these tourists or which airports they’ll land at, although earlier this year, Manchester launched the first direct route between the UK and China from an airport outside of London.
Its chief executive is already on record as saying that “passenger numbers…have exceeded expectations, with the flights between Beijing and Manchester operating 90% full over the summer.”
According to government statistics, 270,000 Chinese tourists and businessmen and women visited the UK last year, spending £586 million – up 46% on the previous year, so the news that these numbers could go up still further is being hailed by the country’s tourism industry as a great piece of news.
Naturally, the tourism industry will have to make a few adjustments so as to ensure these tourists receive an appropriate welcome.
Brochures, signage and other marketing material will have to have Chinese translations added. Guides and other hospitality staff expected to serve these tourists would be well advised to learn a few Chinese phrases and chefs may need to revisit their menus.
We at Explorer Travel Insurance are already working hard in anticipation of this influx. We’re learning several new phrases each day including “Nǐ yǒu lǚxíng bǎoxiǎn?”
(“do you have travel insurance?”)