Cambridgeshire

Cambridge to split up 'problem' Chinese tour groups

King's Parade
Image caption Cambridge's King's Parade has proved a popular destination for tourists

Tourism bosses in Cambridge are to encourage Chinese tourists to visit in smaller groups.

Dozens of visitors from the country regularly gather for organised tours around the university city's narrow streets, making some "impassable".

Emma Thornton, of Visit Cambridge and Beyond, said groups of 50 standing in front of landmarks such as King's College were a "problem".

The city council said it was also working to tackle coach congestion.

Councillor Rosy Moore said Cambridge was "a small city with narrow streets, so parked coaches and large groups of tourists can be frustrating for residents trying to get about their daily lives".

Image caption Emma Thornton said "if you have 50 people standing in front of Kings College at any one time, it's a problem"

Eve Balshaw, 23, who lives in the city, said large groups of tourists made it "challenging" to get around safely.

"If tour guides don't lead groups carefully, it can make both locals and visitors feel like there isn't space for them," she said.

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Jinzhao Li, the director of Cambridge China Centre, said Chinese tourists are drawn to the city thanks to a poem by former Cambridge University student Xu Zhimo.

Taking Leave of Cambridge Again, written in the 1920s, was a "very beautiful romantic poem", she said.

"Everyone in China has heard of this poem."

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