Stonehenge sets to stage Lion Dance for cross-cultural promotion

Chinese Lion Dancers resizedBlackjack Promotions is partnering with China Travel Outbound and English Heritage to bring a roaring celebration dance to World Heritage Site Stonehenge

Visitors to Wiltshire’s prehistoric monument Stonehenge will be treated to a traditional ‘Lion Dance’ to mark the Chinese New Year

The 4,500-year-old Stone Circle is a popular site for Chinese tourists, so English Heritage wanted to embrace this important period of celebration in a way that would resonate with their Chinese visitors and work with the history and atmosphere of this world-famous landmark.

In response to a brief from English Heritage, China travel marketing experts China Travel Outbound suggested Stonehenge play host to a lion dance – where two performers operate a highly decorative lion costume and mimic the animal’s movements. Lion dances are often seen at Chinese celebrations as they are said to bring good luck and fortune, and therefore symbolise a positive start to a new year. With 20 plus years working predominantly in travel retail, staffing and providing experiential specialists, Blackjack Promotions are experts in providing culturally relevant experiences and appropriately skilled and trained staff for activations aimed towards a Chinese audience. They were appointed by China Travel Outbound to supply the pair of lion dancers who can be seen performing at the Stonehenge Visitor Centre on Saturday 25thJanuary between 10am and 3pm.

English Heritage is a charity which cares for 400+ historic buildings, monuments and sites – from world-famous prehistoric sites to grand medieval castles, from Roman forts on the edges of the empire to a Cold War bunker. Through these, they bring the story of England to life for more than 10 million people each year.

Emma Peters, Stonehenge Senior Marketing Manager says, “Stonehenge is one of the world’s most famous prehistoric monuments and a World Heritage Site visited by around 1.5 million people every year. We are delighted to be seeing increasing numbers of visitors to Wiltshire from overseas markets such as China, and this year, we are really excited to be able to welcome visitors to Stonehenge with a traditional ‘Lion Dance’ during the Chinese New Year holiday.”

China Travel Outbound has offices in Brighton and Beijing, connecting clients in the UK and Europe with an engaged audience in China – the world’s largest outbound travel market. Julie Withers, Account Manager at China Travel Outbound says, “There has been phenomenal growth in the Chinese outbound travel market with visitors to the UK up 16.9% year on year with many travelling over Chinese New Year. Attractions need to show their commitment to this market, so this is a great initiative for English Heritage to mark this special occasion in the Chinese calendar.”

The Chinese New Year holiday period will run from 25thJanuary until 8thFebruary, and the dancers at Stonehenge are one of many campaigns Blackjack are partnering on to bring Chinese customs and traditions to brand’s activations during this time.

Neda Lotfi, Account Manager at Blackjack Promotions adds, “We love helping clients fulfil their aims of reaching and embracing audiences, especially on special activations like the Lion Dancers at Stonehenge. By providing the perfect staffing solution we are part of creating an experience that visitors to this already stunning landmark definitely won’t forget.”

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