Big Ben is Da Ben Zhong as London woos Chinese

London is embarking on a tourism offensive to take advantage of the increasing foreign travel capacity in the world’s biggest market – China. Tourism officials in the English capital are seeking out Chinese names for some of the biggest sights in the city.

Big Ben

Big Ben Image by Lee Dyer / CC BY 2.0

The organisers began by asking people on Chinese social media platform, Weibo, to suggests suitable titles. As a result, Big Ben is to be called ‘Da Ben Zhong’ and Buckingham Palace is ‘Bai Jin Han Gong’. And  Shakespeare, the greatest wordsmith of them all, will be known as ‘Sha Weng, the Australian  TV network SBS, reports.

The campaign, which runs until next month is supported by the Home Ministry and clearly illustrates the huge opportunity there is in wooing the burgeoning Chinese foreign travel market. Many other names have yet to be sorted out. “Our ambition is to get the whole of China talking about Britain,” says Sally Balcombe, chief executive at VisitBritain.

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