Goodbyes are never easy

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Mobike in Manchester. Image © 2018 Mobike

Yesterday the Chinese owned firm Mobike which provided a bike sharing service (like Boris Bikes in London) announced that it was ditching Manchester. Why? Because of vandalism and theft.

Heading its blog with the title “Goodbye’s are never easy,” the company attitude about its leaving was more sorrowful than pointing out the loutish beaviour of some Mancunians.

In  both its press release and blog it says nothing more than that and hopes to be able to return to the city. That is very generous of the company given that the mainstream media is reporting that it was losing 10% of its cycles every single month to theft and vandalism. That means that the company has effectively had to replace its entire fleet of bikes every ten months. In its short, sixteenth month life in the city its bikes have also been chucked in canals, incinerated and had locks removed.

What does this say about Manchester?

What does it say to Chinese who might consider visiting the city?

As a Chinese company if you were Chinese and visiting a city wouldn’t you be likely to hire from a company with which you were familiar? When they contact the company they will be told that they can’t use the bike sharing facility in England’s second or third most important city. And why? Because Manchester has shown the world (you’d be surprised at how widely this story has been picked up) that it isn’t a pleasant place to visit.

Visit Britain is probably removing Manchester from its promotional efforts in China and if it isn’t it should consider it  – at least for a while.

You and I may know differently and can suggest any number of attractions and areas to visit but that won’t be how Chinese might view it. Chinese take great pride in being hospitable. How hospitable is Manchester going to seem?

At a time when just about every destination outside China wants more and more Chinese visitors, this happens. Destinations have difficulties getting Chinese to visit places other than the most obvious yet having a Chinese company providing a tourist offering that was familiar must be seen as a step to encouraging more visitors over destinations that don’t have Mobike

Now Mancunians have shot the city in the foot by this yobbish behaviour.

Thank goodness, Cambridge, Oxford, London and Newcastle still have a Mobike service. Now Chinese visitors might go there instead.

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