Scotland's China-Ready Conference 2018 organized by Edinburgh Tourism Action Group (ETAG), Scottish Enterprise and Edinburgh Airport was held on 10 May at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.
Inbound tourism from China to Scotland is expected to increase significantly this year as a result of new 2/week Beijing-Edinburgh service to be offered by Hainan Airlines beginning 12 June.
Agenda included sessions on attracting and welcoming Chinese visitors, and digital payment systems. Exhibitors were on hand showcasing marketing, translation and other services.
Edinburgh Castle claims to have been visited by more than 170,000 Chinese nationals in 2017, but at a meeting in Beijing in April First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced a figure of 41,000 visitors to Scotland from China, with an average length of stay of 12+ days.
That's a serious disparity in the visitor count - something that's been seen in other countries, and may have to do with differences in counting practices. (Maybe Chinese visitors to Edinburgh Castle average 4+ visits each?)
In any case, China is one of Scotland's five fastest-growing markets, and Chinese visitors seem to enjoy visiting Edinburgh, making it their #2 UK destination behind only London.
Let's hope Hainan Airlines manages to stay out of financial trouble, and that their Edinburgh route is successful.