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Barnsley Welcomes Chinese Visitor

Wednesday May 1 2013

Mary Lui Mary Lui

BARNSLEY has welcomed a Chinese visitor who came to pay respect to missionary Hudson Taylor - and she says the town could rival Bethlehem.

Mary Lui, 58, is enjoying a three-week holiday in the town and has enjoyed it so much she plans to move here permanently in July. She thinks the town could become a tourism hotspot to rival Bethlehem.

The retired maths lecturer has sold her house in Beijing to fund the trip and has attended several of the town’s churches on her pilgrimage.

“Jesus was born in a small place named Bethlehem but now people from all around the world visit there," she said. "I believe the same will happen for Barnsley.

“Hudson Taylor is a hero in my nation. He came to China, learned our language and embraced our culture. There are now 70 million Christians in China and many of them will want to come and see his birthplace.

“It’s the 150th anniversary of the launch of his mission organisation in 2014 and I expect thousands of people to visit Barnsley then.”

Owen Gleadall, president of the Rotherham and Barnsley Chamber of Commerce said he had always believed Barnsley could be a tourism hotspot.

He said about 200 Chinese people had visited Barnsley in the last year, but said there should be more for them to see.

"The difficulty we've got is convincing the local authority that Mary is right in what she's saying," he said.

"In 2011, there were 150,000 Chinese visitors to Britain, but they spent £240m - an average of £1,600 per person. If they spent that around Barnsley and South Yorkshire it would be phenomenal."

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Reply Posted by Mick on Wednesday May 1 2013 at 13:39
"She thinks the town could become a tourism hotspot to rival Bethlehem." Hilarious!

Reply Posted by les on Wednesday May 1 2013 at 20:11
Well thats a new technique.
Imay try that to get into australia..tell them it reminds me of where skippy was born

Reply Posted by les on Wednesday May 1 2013 at 20:15
I spend more than2,000 a year in barnsley
and nobody tells me im phenominal
......thats creepy....