Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
Let's get ready for Chinese tourists
10:00am Wednesday 23rd October 2013 in Letters
Sir – Chancellor George Osborne recently announced when visiting China that 160 million Chinese are already watching Downton Abbey and that visas would be simplified to encourage more visits to Britain.
So let’s turn a potential problem into a golden opportunity.
Most locals already know that Bampton is where the village scenes for Downton are filmed, so let’s immediately dual the A40 and improve its link to the A34, as all those Chinese visitors, it seems, also need to visit Bicester Village.
Then why not reopen the railway line to Witney and Bampton too, so that Oxford, that recognised centre of tourism and academic life, Bicester and London could all be made accessible to everyone.
Harvard in the US already has throngs of visiting Chinese and both Oxford universities need to be better prepared for more visitors, by improved language teaching, specialist tours, etc.
We are already building one new hotel in Witney but other accommodation could well be needed. Eynsham Hall, for example, could easily provide an alternative to Downton Abbey if we really want to focus attention here rather than in Hampshire.
West Oxfordshire can readily provide morris dancers to add authenticity to any English experience.
We would also of course be happy to tour China in Mr Osborne’s footsteps and promote the rural scene as an adjunct to the Boris promotion of London, which I guess David Cameron might appreciate too.
Tourism is about showbusiness, so let’s grasp the nettle and get on with it.
Mike Breakell, (Green Badge Guide and Charlbury Morris cheeseman), High Street, Finstock
Comments are closed on this article.