Laing Edinburgh is to be the first sponsor for Scotland’s first ever direct flight to China.

The family-owned jeweller is supporting a collaborative proposal by Marketing Edinburgh, Edinburgh Airport and The City of Edinburgh Council. It is expected that this sponsorship announcement, which will be formally announced at the China-Britain Business Council Burns Supper at the Waldorf Astoria, will help strengthen the proposal to make the route a reality.

Plans to increase tourism with China involve the Edinburgh Tourism Action Group who have launched Scotland’s first-ever destination campaign on social media in China.

Commenting on the sponsorship, Chairman & Owner of Laing the Jeweller Ltd, Michael Laing OBE, said: “This is a monumental opportunity for Edinburgh and we’re extremely proud to support the City’s plans for a direct aviation route between Edinburgh and China. Improved links to China will significantly boost tourism and business opportunities for the City and beyond. This is also an important commercial sponsorship for Laing Edinburgh and we’re delighted to be at the forefront of the bid. We are continuing to invest further in building connections with this hugely influential market.”

John Donnelly, Chief Executive of Marketing Edinburgh, said: “The signing of Laing is an incredible step in the right direction in our bid to bring a Chinese carrier to Edinburgh. We’re thrilled about the movements of the project so far and feel positive about the future of Scotland’s connections to China with our first sponsor on-board. This is a really exciting time for the Edinburgh tourism market as we work to position the city and Scotland as a China friendly destination. We’re anticipating the next sponsor sign-up and encourage anyone who is interested to get in touch.”

Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: “Our focused approach to bring direct connectivity between Edinburgh and China will deliver a massive tourism boost for the city and for the country’s economy. Support from a business of the calibre of Laing’s demonstrates the energy behind our campaign and highlights the great gains that can be won when we secure this direct link.”

Cllr Gavin Barrie, Economy Convener, said: “As the Gateway to Scotland, Edinburgh Airport is well-placed to welcome visitors from an ever increasing global range of destinations. We believe a direct flight path to China is a key priority for the airport and the city and we are working hard to promote Edinburgh as a quality destination to visit, work, study and invest.

“Should the airport secure the country’s direct air link to China, the Capital will experience substantial outreach to Asia for tourism, business travel and investment opportunities. Laing Jewellers’ commitment as a sponsor is a significant step forward.”

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