Scotland's WeChat deal to woo tourists

By ANGUS McNEICE in London | China Daily UK | Updated: 2017-07-04 16:44

Scotland's WeChat deal to woo tourists

Performance by the Military Band of the Chinese People's Liberation Army in 2015.[Photo/China Daily]

One of Scotland's biggest annual tourism attractions is teaming up with social media app WeChat in a bid to tap the Chinese market.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, a world-famous music and dance spectacle which has run in various forms since 1949, attracts an average 220,000 visitors each year.

From 2018, users of payment app WeChat Pay will be able to purchase tickets to the event through a live booking system.

WeChat had around 889 million monthly active users in 2016, 90 percent of which are Chinese.

Brigadier David Allfrey, chief executive of the Tattoo, hopes the partnership will increase exposure ahead of the event's planned three-week tour of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou in 2020.

"This is a game-changer in building relationships with our Chinese customers and in partnerships going forward," Allfrey said, adding that the

Tattoo is the first Scottish business to arrange such a deal with WeChat. "It feels like a major milestone," he said.

Graeme White, director of tourism at Scottish Development International, said the WeChat Pay deal will allow the Tattoo to offer Chinese visitors a familiar and convenient payment method.

"This is a great example of a company attuned to its Far Eastern customers," said White. The Tattoo includes performances by Scottish pipe and drum military bands, dance troupes and firework displays held on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle every evening through the month of August and twice on Saturdays.

The event held a China Day in 2015, ahead of President Xi Jinping's state visit that year. The Military Band of the People's Liberation Army of China has appeared at a previous event and Allfrey says there are plans to include Chinese performers in next year's program. Visit Scotland, the local tourism authority, is increasingly pushing Edinburgh's presence on Chinese social media.


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