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It’s Not Chinese Whispers! Scotts Casts Net Far And Wide To Meet Tourists’ Tastes

Scotts Fish and Chips is casting its net far and wide to tap into the growing Oriental visitor market keen to sample the UK’s favourite dish.

Since Chinese Premier Xi Jinping was treated to fish and chips by former British Prime Minister David Cameron in 2015, visiting a chippy is a must do for Chinese tourists visiting the country.

Now, thanks to launching a Chinese website on Weibo, and the use of the Wechat messaging app widely used in the Communist country, Scotts Fish and Chips – located on the A46 at Bilbrough, near York – has seen a large increase in the number of Chinese coach parties stopping off for a bite to eat.

And to make it easier for its foreign guests, the award-winning restaurant has also translated its menu into Mandarin and Cantonese, which can be downloaded on smartphones and tablets via a QR code.

Additionally, for those tourists suffering from coeliac disease and a wheat intolerance or, through to religious practices do not eat batter made from traditional dripping, Scotts serves a gluten-free version.

It is also one of a small number of fish and chip shops that has won recognition from Coeliac UK, the national Charity for people with coeliac disease and dermatitis herpitiformus.

Scotts is also benefitting from Visit York’s dedicated Chinese tourism strategy, which last year printed a Mandarin version of its York Visitor Guide.

A total of 35,000 copies have been distributed to a number of inbound airlines from China, airport lounges and visa application offices in Beijing and Shanghai.

Tony Webster said: “Thanks to David Cameron and Xi Jinping, fish and chips are a must-have meal for Chinese tourists visiting the UK.

“Over the last two years we have seen a huge increase in the number of bookings being made Chinese tour guides. And to tap into this growing market we are actively promoting Scotts to travel companies based throughout China.

“Our own marketing is paying dividends and this year we have seen a 15-fold increase in the number of Chinese coach parties paying Scotts Fish and Chips a visit.

“We are also supported in our efforts by Will Zhuang and his wife Jean, who manage Chinese social media for Visit York and Leeds City Region.

“This week alone we served more than 100 Chinese tourists in three separate groups. And once here in addition to tucking into fish and chips, they insist on taking photos both inside and outside the restaurant with the staff.

“It is a real occasion for them and one they want to share with their friends and family when they return home.”

Watch the story on BBC News!

And we were on the Jeremy Vine Show, Radio 2, talking to Paddy O'Connell