The Oxfordshire village of Kidlington has no sites of historic interest and no obvious scenic spots. So its residents are wondering why this unremarkable community near Oxford has started to receive coachloads of Chinese tourists over the past month. The locals told the BBC that the overseas visitors had filled their streets and were even taking selfies in their gardens (uninvited, it should be added).
But why? China National Radio, which describes the village as “bland”, thinks it’s because Chinese tour guides have told their clients that Kidlington was a filming location in the Harry Potter movies – hence tourists were more interested in taking photos in front of modern houses rather than the village’s more picturesque thatched cottages. Another theory is that the tour guides are fibbing, simply because they needed to create a stop on the itinerary between the university town of Oxford and the discount shopping hub of Bicester Village (home to cut-price designer labels).
Netizens in China have shared their views on the phenomenon too. One posited that it was all to do with Brexit: Chinese tourists want to visit an ordinary village to see what life is like in Britain prior to its post-EU decline. More kindly another wrote, “I wish that one day our rural towns were as clean and beautiful as this British one”.
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