They’ve been known as The Needles for centuries but now the Isle of Wight’s most famous landmark have a new and even more exotic name: Poseidon’s Trident
The celebrated chalk outposts at the western end of the Island are among 101 points of interest in the UK provided with new names by the Chinese public as part of a campaign by VisitBritain.
Other UK names given Chinese monikers include:
* Cerne Abbas Giant in Dorset - the huge figure in an excitable state has been dubbed Big White Streaker (Bai Se Da Luo Ben);
* Stoke-on-Trent - the pottery area has been called Diverse Ceramics (Wan Bo Tao Ci)
* The Shard in London - the Chinese see the 1,017ft-high building as a tower allowing us to pluck stars from the sky (Zhai Xing Ta)
* Loch Ness Monster - perhaps hedging their bets a bit as to Nessie’s authenticity, the Chinese have come up with The Loch Ness Shadow (Ni Si Hu An Ying);
* Highland Games - with reference to the kilt, the Chinese have plumped for Strong-Man Skirt Party (Qun Ying Hui).
Marino Zanti, general manager of The Needles Park, said: ‘As the most visited landmark and attraction on the Isle of Wight, we’re thrilled to have been featured in this high profile campaign.
‘We’ve seen the Chinese market grow dramatically over the past two years and we hope to welcome many more Chinese visitors to the Needles in coming seasons. “Poseidon’s Trident” is a fitting alternative name for the Needles rocks as an association with the ‘God of the Sea’ befits a national coastal landmark of our stature.”
VisitBritain chief executive Sally Balcombe said: ‘Chinese visitors already stay longer in Britain than in our European competitor destinations and are high spenders.
‘Every 22 additional Chinese visitors we attract supports an additional job in tourism. We want to ensure that we continue to compete effectively in this, the world’s biggest outbound market and ensure that we deliver growth and jobs across the nations and regions of Britain.’
She added: ‘Digital engagement is one of our strengths and this campaign has been hugely effective at driving this with our potential Chinese visitors.
“We’re working closely with the industry and hope to see some of Britain’s most popular points of interest use these new Chinese names on their social media channels and websites to amplify that engagement.’