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Politicians unveil strategy to increase Chinese tourism in Hertfordshire
Ruling politicians in Hertfordshire are hoping to tempt more Chinese tourists to the county using attractions such as the Harry Potter studio tour in Leavesden.
Hertfordshire County Council is also aiming to pitch the county’s verdant countryside and traditional pubs as the "quintessentially English experience" to potential visitors from the Communist country.
The new strategy, which was unveiled this week, comes as the Government announced it was relaxing its visa rules for Chinese people wishing to work and visit the UK.
Last week the Chancellor George Osborne and Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, also toured China in a bid to drum up more trade and tourism.
Chris Hayward, Cabinet Member for Enterprise, said the council was keen for the county to capitalise on this potential new influx of Chinese tourists.
He said: "Research has shown that Chinese tourists want to experience our history, culture and ‘green and pleasant land’ - a quintessentially English experience that Hertfordshire can provide.
"Our county is steeped in history, from the childhood of Elizabeth I at Hatfield House to the birth of the Ryder Cup at Verulam Golf Club in St Albans; our cultural heritage ranges from the Henry Moore Foundation at Perry Green to the country home of playwright George Bernard Shaw at Ayot St Lawrence; and we are surrounded by beautiful, easily accessible countryside yet just half an hour from London.
"We are the home to CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) and have hundreds of good old fashioned pubs; we have beautiful gardens, from Hitchin Lavender Farm to the Knebworth House estate; and we have many interesting museums, from the de Havilland Aircraft Heritage Centre to the Verulamium Museum in St Albans showcasing everyday life in Roman Britain.
"There’s plenty of modern culture too. We have market towns with bustling high streets full of independent shops, as well as shopping centres; two league football teams at Watford and Stevenage; and our newest big attraction - the Warner Bros. Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter."
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