Rabbie’s deal to bring more Chinese to Scotland

Rabbie’s Small Group Tours has sealed a partnership with Chinese online travel agent, CTrip, with the aim of attracting more tourists from China to Scotland.

The partnership between Rabbie’s and CTrip is expected to be worth £20 million over the next 10 years.

The Chinese online travel agent will sell Rabbie’s products which depart from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, London and Dublin.

Robin Worsnop, the founder of Rabbie’s, said: “This is an exciting development. I visited the CTrip headquarters and received such a warm and friendly welcome.”

This partnership follows Rabbie’s increased investment in the Mandarin-speaking market over the past year.

The company has hired two employees based in China and two Mandarin-speaking tour guides.

The number of Chinese tourists to Scotland increased by 192% between 2007 and 2016, and this trend is expected to rise as a new direct Hainan Airlines service between Beijing and Edinburgh is starting in June.

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, was in Beijing on a trade mission recently and

met CTrip chief executive Jane Sun.

Sturgeon said: “[CTrip]’s investment in Scotland is a great example of collaboration between Scotland and China in the key areas of tourism and the economy.

“I welcome this new partnership between CTrip and Rabbie’s, which will support more Chinese tourists to come to Scotland and create more opportunities to experience our unique combination of history, stunning scenery and world-class culture.”

CTrip is the largest OTA in Asia and the second largest in the world. In 2016, it acquired Edinburgh-based Skyscanner for £1.4 billion.

Pictured at CTrip offices in Shanghai, from left: Linus Liu (Rabbie’s Tours); Aria Jin (CTrip); Heather Reekie (Rabbie’s Tours); and Robin Worsnop (Rabbie’s Tours).