Few Chinese will have heard of the village of Llanfynydd in Carmarthenshire (and even fewer will be able to pronounce it). But that may change on news that a property developer is planning a £50 million resort there, with the goal of luring 20,000 Chinese visitors a year. According to the Western Mail, the plan is to turn an 1830s tower into a luxury hotel, with additional wood cabins and timeshare homes on site.
The man behind the project is Tommy Li, the boss of real estate developer Maxhard. He says that most tourists from China are familiar with England and Scotland, but “not many” know of Wales (or its weather, presumably, which is a bonus…)
Fortunately, a councillor for the village told the Western Mail that locals were very much in favour of the plan. “We have lost our two pubs and we have lost the local shop,” says David Jones, who fears the village will die without new investment.
The rising number of Chinese tourists to the UK is now being viewed as a wider business opportunity, and not just by the British.
The Financial Times reported recently that China Telecom has just done a deal to launch a UK mobile phone business, under an agreement with Everything Everywhere (the British operations of France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom). The plan: to offer Chinese language-based mobile services, tailoring its services to the needs of the growing Chinese population in the UK. That will include visitors – offering competitive tariffs to the 600,000 Chinese who reach Blighty every year and want to call home.
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