Chinese choose new name for Balmoral

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Balmoral Castle and Estate has been renamed ‘One True Love Castle’ in Mandarin, following 10 weeks of voting across China.

It follows the results of VisitBritain’s £1.6 million ‘GREAT Names for GREAT Britain’ campaign, which builds on the existing trend of giving relatable Mandarin names to favourite celebrities, places and foods.

Balmoral Castle and Estate joined the likes of the haggis, the Glenfinnan Viaduct and the Kelpies in a list of 101 icons and places of interest across the UK, including 23 in Scotland.

Over two million people visited the campaign pages and nearly 30 million Chinese people watched the launch video, with 13,000 new names suggested throughout the ten weeks.

Glen Coe received the third highest number of votes overall - 24,505 - in the whole campaign, whilst The Highland Games was the most popular Scottish point of interest to name, with a total of 235 suggestions.

All 101 points of interest have now been given their three most popular Chinese names. Over the coming days, VisitBritain will be working together with all of these attractions to decide which name to go for and how they might use these results.

Some of the highlights of the naming options include the Highland Games, which has been translated as ‘Strong-man Skirt Party’ and haggis, which has been renamed ‘Baa-baa Pudding’.

The National Wallace Monument could be renamed ‘Monument to Brave Heart’, whilst Scotland’s very own Nessie will be ‘Phantom of Loch Ness’.

The popular names in the competition all share similar pronunciation. Most of them have a simple few Chinese characters but are rich in meaning; either there is a profound history or connection to relate to, or the name is interesting and really catchy to use.

Joss Croft, Marketing Director at VisitBritain said: “We want Britain to be the most attractive and welcoming destination for Chinese travellers in Europe. The naming campaign has given these Scottish locations and landmarks huge exposure across China and created an affinity with potential tourists. We hope the points of interest involved will embrace their new Mandarin name to help them compete for more high-spending tourists from the world’s biggest outbound tourism market.”

Another Deeside site to be renamed as a result of the voting is the Cairngorms National Park, which translates as ‘Snow mountains reaching into sky’.

Denise Hill, Head of International Marketing at VisitScotland said: “This campaign has thrown up some truly inspiring and engaging names for Scottish icons, with the Glenfinnan Viaduct described as ‘Highland Rainbow’ and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park becoming ‘Mountain Lakes Get You Drunk on Dreams’ being particular highlights! The Great Names campaign has proved a fun and entertaining way for us to engage with Scotland’s Chinese market, which is growing year-on-year.

“These extraordinary new monikers will only serve to lend even more intrigue and romance to places throughout Scotland which in turn will lead to further increases in visits from China. William Shakespeare once asked: ‘What’s in a name?’ It seems the answer is a great deal!”

The most recent inbound tourism figures show that in the first nine months of 2014, Britain welcomed 156,000 visits from China which contributed £411 million to the UK’s economy. Chinese tourists currently spend an average of £2,508 per visit compared to the overall average spend of £640 per visit.