The Romans may have named the fortress Deva and the Welsh call it Caer, but the city of Chester has a new name.
After ten weeks of voting in China, VisitBritain has revealed the new Mandarin name for the city as part of the GREAT Names for GREAT Britain campaign.
The new identity is Qing Si Cheng meaning ‘a city filled with thoughts’ and was one of three possible naming suggestions chosen by the Chinese public.
Chester is among 101 locations, attractions and events chosen to be named, including the popular Tatton Park Flower Show, along with iconic places such as The Shard, Hadrian’s Wall and Savile Row.
China is now the world’s largest outbound market, with visitors to Britain already spending £500 million. VisitBritain has ambitious plans to double the value of that market by 2020 and to ensure that growth is spread across the nations and regions. The campaign taps into the existing trend amongst Chinese to give literal names to favourite celebrities, places and foods.
Chester will be taking full of advantage of the growing relationship with China with a schedule of familiarisation trips and media partnership events being planned for 2015/16.
There will also be a sign erected to display Chester’s new mandarin name.
Marketing Cheshire chief executive Katrina Michel said: “We are delighted that Chester has been chosen as an iconic location, worthy of a new Chinese name. With a regular service into Manchester airport and a focus on China within the Northern Fund for Tourism, we can now work systematically to ensure that more and more itineraries for Chinese visitors include Chester and other places in Cheshire, where I know they will receive a very warm welcome.”
Joss Croft, marketing director at VisitBritain said: “The campaign has given Chester huge exposure across China and the opportunity to create a unique affinity with potential Chinese tourists. We hope Chester’s new Mandarin name raises its profile and enables it to compete effectively for the world’s biggest outbound market, which will deliver local growth and jobs across Cheshire.”