Almost four thousand Chinese tourists will fly into Birmingham airport from Beijing on charter-based package tours this summer, contributing £19 million to the regional economy.
Hainan Airlines will operate twice-weekly flights using a 233-seat Boeing 767-300.
The flights will run from Beijing to Birmingham each Friday and Monday between July 3 and August 28.
Birmingham airport commercial director Jo Lloyd said: “Not only is this a significant market test, it paves the way for future sustainable scheduled flights into Birmingham from China that will support the growth in Chinese visitors as well as the region’s economy.
“We are also hopeful that flight programmes will include departures from Shanghai and Guangzhou as well as Beijing to Birmingham in the future.”
Recent Office for National Statistics data shows that overseas visitor numbers to the region have increased by one-third, specifically from China where visitor numbers have more than doubled.
Culture secretary Sajid Javid, speaking at a special event in Beijing organised by the airport and VisitBritain, said: “There’s so much more to the UK than London, so it’s great that this new route will let Chinese visitors fly direct to the heart of England this summer.
“Improving international connections is a key part of our long-term economic plan, and a regular flight between China’s capital and Britain’s second city will boost the tourist industry and help forge links between businesses in both countries.”
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