Chengdu 72 to launch in London on May 19th.

As British Airways increases flights from Heathrow to Chengdu, a high-level delegation of officials and businessmen from the Chinese city are flying to London for Chengdu 72 – a series of high-profile events during the week of 19 May to promote the panda capital.

Online PR News – 14-May-2014 – London, England – New ‘Chengdu 72’ campaign to promote business and travel to Panda Capital

As British Airways increases the number of its weekly flights from Heathrow to Chengdu from three to five this month, a high-level delegation of officials and businessmen from the Chinese city are flying to London for Chengdu 72 – a series of high-profile events during the week of 19 May to promote the panda capital. Best-known as the home of the much-loved Giant Panda and the gateway to the beautiful and natural landscape of Sichuan, it has also been designated as the centre of commerce and a hub for transportation and communications for Southwest China and is rapidly becoming a world-class leisure and business destination in its own right.

UK visitors to Chengdu have grown phenomenally in recent years and despite the recession the city received an 88 per cent jump in British visitors in 2011, while nearly 124,000 Brits stayed in Chengdu in 2013.

Chengdu 72 week comprises a VIP event in the Magazine Restaurant, Sackler Serpentine Gallery; a rebranding of the Heathrow Express into the Chengdu 72 Express, an exclusive photo exhibition at Terminal 5, while a Chengdu teahouse will pop up in Covent Garden between 22-25 May where trips to Chengdu will be available to win. Throughout the week a social media campaign #Chengdu72 will encourage people to take pictures of Chengdu Pandas dotted around London during the week and the best tweet will also win a trip to Chengdu.

The majority of UK tourists head to the city of Chengdu in order to visit the amazing Giant Pandas at either the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in the outskirts of the city, or at Bifengixia Panda Reserve, 2 hours outside of the city, but many of these visitors miss some of the city’s key highlights. It is home to a number of world natural and cultural heritage sites including the oldest existing irrigation project in the world, which is over 2000 years old, the amazing Dujiangyan Irrigation System; the Kuan and Zhai Alleys, which were first built during the Qing dynasty, and a large number of Taoist temples and beautiful bamboo parks. Chengdu is also the birthplace of Chinese teahouse, Sichuan opera, shadow puppets and fabulous Shu brocade. Chengdu is the only City of Gastronomy entitled by UNESCO in Asia, renowned for its hot and spicy food.

The city is also attracting a number of international events such as the Dubai International Cup – the first time an international horse racing event has been staged in mainland China while the Munich Oktoberfest is visiting the city in May.

The number of international visitors to the city is set to raise by 20 per cent in 2014 to 2 million and 20 new five star hotels are being planned. The Fairmont Hotel will open between September to December this year, while Mandarin Oriental will be open in 2015.

Increasingly, the city has also been attracting British business including architect Dame Zaha Hadid, designer of the New Century City Art Centre; Arup engineers and B&Q as well as British education institutions such as Harrow.

- Ends -

Chengdu 72 week starts on 19th May in London including three day Chengdu pop in Covent Garden. Five pairs of trips to Chengdu can be won for details visit social media pages below.
www.facebook.com/chengdu
www.twitter.com/@chengdu72

Wendy Wu Tours (www.wendywutours.co.uk) offer a 13 day 'Sichuan Explorer' itinerary including the most breathtaking natural wonders of China, from the stunning Nine Villages Valley, to magnificent Mt Emei and the striking Huanglong Pools. The highlight is a visit to Chengdu's famous Panda Conservation Centre, offering the chance to see these beautiful and symbolic creatures being reared in wooded surroundings. The tour is fully-inclusive and is priced from £2490 per person including international flights to Chengdu with British Airways, domestic transportation, touring with guides, accommodation, entrance fees, meals and visas for EU passport holders.

British Airways fly five times a week to Chengdu from London Heathrow. Prices start from £739, including all taxes and charges. For reservations visit ba.com or call 0844 493 0758

For further information contact 020 79537470: Frances Tuke frances@lotus-uk.co.uk or Sarah Johnson sarah@lotus-uk.co.uk

Statistics at a glance:

UK Visitors to Chengdu: 2011 83,077 (y-o-y increase 88%)
2012 107,973 (y-o-y increase 30%)
2013 123,673 (y-o-y increase 15%)
2014 1st Quarter 18,006 (y-o-y increase of 32%)
From the Office of National Statistics International Passenger Survey:
Total UK visits to Mainland China
2008 318,000
2009 272,000
2010 287,000
2011 343,000
2012 334,000
Growth between 2011-12 -9,000 or -2.6% growth, from 2008-2012 growth is 1.3%
Total Chinese visits to UK
2008 136,000
2009 128,000
2010 141,000
2011 181,000
2012 215,000
Growth between 2011-12 34,000 = 18.6%, growth between 2008-2012 = 12.2%

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Contact Information
Frances Tuke
Lotus UK
50 Westminster Bridge Road
London

447876506014