Selling Dorset holidays to the Chinese

By | Category: Travel rumblings

a069ef_b7572b6b6e9d46ee874d16355fe88e3a.png_srz_p_324_324_75_22_0.5_1.2_0_png_srzAt the beginning of the month you might remember that the media was carrying a story about a company selling bottled air to the Chinese. A fortnight on from that story and I have seen no one recognise the tremendous tourism potential of the product.

I am not going to go in to the ins and outs (pun intended) of knowing that air from wherever the jars might come from is being replaced by air from healthy places like Dorset or Yorkshire or that it is very similar to an idea from the first play Ben Elton wrote way back in 1990 – Gasping. In the Elton play, designer air is being sold to the public as there is a shortage of air and people were paying a high sum for the product that the fictional company was producing.

No, let’s return to the tourism angle. The company concerned, AETHAER, is selling bottled air for £80 a jar to the Chinese. Why? Because the air in large cities like Beijing and Shanghai is so polluted that people wear masks and contract bronchial complaints. Kaye – who was based in China for twelve months a few years ago – came back with a hacking cough that took months to disappear.

If the people who have bought the jars of air believe that the air from Dorset or wherever is beneficial to them, then Visit Britain or Leo De Watts who launched AETHAER should be selling package holidays to Dorset. “Come to Dorset,” the ads should chant, “where the air is fresh, the air is pure and the breathing is easy.” The people who have bought the jars should be queuing up to travel here. At a stroke Mr De Watts has solved a major problem that Visit Britain has – getting Chinese visitors out of London, Edinburgh and Stratford-upon-Avon and other tourist musts. This will spread tourists around to Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire, Wales and Yorkshire which is from where the existing “brands” of air come from.

But we could go further. “Come to Scotland and breathe air flavoured with just a hint of heather!” “Visit the Yorkshire moors and get a lung full bracing Yorkshire air.” Experience West Wales where the air is so pure that lichen grows on trees faster than the trees can grow.”

Why, in the last two weeks, have the tourist boards not been jumping on the bandwagon and promoting rural areas of our countries to the Chinese? Fifteen of the top 20 most polluted places in the world are in India and China. That’s where the promotional budget needs to be spent. That’s where British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Air India and the Chinese airlines should be adding services and then flying them straight in to Bournemouth, and Leeds-Bradford Airports. It’s time to lengthen the runway at Haverfordwest Airport so that A380’S can bring 500 Chinese passengers at a time into the clean air of Pembrokeshire.

Mr de Watts has shown the way. Where are the tourism marketeers to take advantage of it?

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