Bob and Jonny’s culinary adventure with LNER

Chinese KOL standing with a chef

CTO has been hard at work organising an array of media trips for Chinese journalists, travel bloggers and online influencers. These trips deliver valuable promotion for our clients in some of the most powerful Chinese travel platforms, such as Mafengwo, Qyer and C Trip, and content is widely shared through social media channels such as WeChat and Weibo. This summer, we have explored a slightly different angle for LNER, to promote their exciting on-board menus and the gastronomic delights of London, York, Edinburgh and Moray Speyside in collaboration with popular Chinese ‘foodies’, Bob and Jonny.

Bob and Johnny on LNER train

Bob & Jonny are food, restaurant and hotel reviewers. They have profiles on most of the travel review sites and social media platforms in China and have more than 750,000 combined followers on WeChat and Weibo. With Jonny’s photographic skills and Bob’s in-depth culinary analysis, they are a perfect team, producing high quality, professional content and social posts. A positive review from these two would work wonders for a company investing in the Chinese market. Their target audience are young, middle class individuals who love travelling and trying diverse, international dishes.

KOL Bob visiting the UK

Starting from London, the two bloggers have made the journey all the way up to Scotland, frequently stopping at points of interest along the route and documenting their activities as they go. Some of their stops include: Bottomless brunches in London, Chocolate stories and fine dining in York, Distillery tours and whiskey sampling in Moray Speyside, wandering through the V&A museum in Dundee and returning to London for scrumptious afternoon tea at Royal Museums of Greenwich’s Cutty Sark, one of London’s top historic landmarks, and an educational insight into the Houses of Parliament.

Royal Museum Greenwich Cutty Sark

If you would like to find out more about reaching out to Chinese bloggers and influencers. Please get in touch and we’ll be happy to discuss this with you further.

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*Images from Bob and Jonny’s Weibo account

Free market consultations for applicants to the Discover England Fund


China Travel Outbound is offering FREE market consultations to destinations and tourism businesses planning to apply for financing through the recently-opened Discover England Fund.  The 3-year, £40 million fund seeks to finance initiatives which will deliver bookable product that appeals to international visitors.  To help access the Chinese outbound market, predicted to total 220 million by 2025, China Travel Outbound will give you a free bespoke consultation to aid your bid.

We’ll take you through research opportunities to understand the Chinese market, the travel industry landscape and Chinese consumers, from group to independent travellers and from familes to millenials.  We will share our approach to product testing and validation and we can help you put together a Chinese marketing and/or digital development plan to support your application.

The Discover England fund is designed to support the growth of inbound tourism, one of England’s most successful export industries.  In Year One the fund’s focus is upon “quick-win projects and pilots that meet customer demand and test new product or new ways of joining up and distributing existing product” and “research to build understanding of customers, markets and product gaps”. This is a great opportunity to gain your share of the enormous Chinese market while first-mover advantage is (just) still possible.

Free consultations are subject to availability and spaces are limited.  As soon as you have decided to apply for funding, please get in touch by emailing [email protected]. Consultations will be through conference facilitated telephone calls lasting up to 30 minutes.

Find out more about the Discover England Fund Criteria and process for application here. The first round of consideration of bids starts from 31 May 16 and Visit Britain is encouraging applicants to submit bids as soon as possible.

Funding of up to £250,000 is available for 10-15 applicants with projects which can be delivered by 31 March 2017. Expressions of interest for longer term projects will be sought between July and October 2016.

Good luck!


Photographic credit : John Stee