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Eastern promise for Cotswolds tourism
Tourism is set for a boost from afar after a glowing report from a Middle East delegation.
A seven-strong party made up of TV representatives and social media influencers from Saudi Arabia and Dubai visited a handful of attractions in West Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds Middle East tourism delegatesand declared themselves �bowled over� by what they had seen.
The group took in Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens in Burford including encounters with lemurs and giant tortoises before moving on to the Countryfile Live event in the grounds of Blenheim Palace near Woodstock where they witnessed rare breed animal displays and cookery demonstrations.
After spending the night at the Cotswold Water Park Four Pillars Hotel near Cirencester, they sampled an off-road driving experience around one of the Water Park lakes courtesy of the Down Ampney-based Gloucestershire Rally School.
Yasmine Rashed, VisitBritain�s Communications Manager for the Middle East and Turkey, said: �The Cotswolds have so much to offer that we barely scratched the surface during this whistle stop tour.
�The delegates were bowled over by the area�s wide range of superb leisure and sports activities, beautiful countryside, world class heritage and architecture, fantastic restaurants and cafes and memorable shopping experiences.�
Ms Rashed added that members of the delegation were responsible for broadcasting to a global TV audience as well as the Gulf States while others specialised in social media such as YouTube and Instagram.
�I am sure their positive experience will translate into a lot of interest in the Cotswolds from a brand new audience,� Ms Rashed said.
Cllr Jeanette Baker, Cabinet Member for Tourism at West Oxfordshire District Council, was delighted with the success of the visit.
She said: �Tourism is a major contributor to the local economy and attracting foreign visitors is vital for its continued success.
�We look forward to welcoming more people from the Middle East. I am sure they will all enjoy the compelling blend of beautiful scenery, fascinating history, diverse sporting activities and events and award winning food and accommodation providers that the Cotswolds has to offer.�
: 16/08/2016 20:55:29
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