GHC's China MD, Gary Yu, told Campaign Asia-Pacific that LLQ is a collection of 42 famous streets and lanes anchored by Bond Street, Mayfair and St James’s. Three years ago, the Heart of London Business Alliance and New West End Company, which together represent more than 1,000 businesses in London’s West End, recognised the growing appetite for luxury in their district and created the London Luxury Quarter to transform the area into a valuable entity that can be marketed globally, Yu said.
Some of the most well-known brands in the LLQ include Burberry's headquarters, Saville Row, Fortnum & Mason, Mulberry, The Ritz and The Langham Hotel.
Yu said LLQ does not have an office in China, nor has it worked with any PR agency in Asia before.
Grebstad Hicks signed on to the new role for 2013 in July after a multiple-round pitch. The agency will run a social-media strategy on Weibo and a mobile app, while arranging press trips to some of the quarter’s retailers, hotels, restaurants and galleries. GHC will also manage LLQ’s presence at key events throughout the year, including a possible visit by London Mayor Boris Johnson to China in October.
Led by partners Lynn Grebstad and Paul Hicks, Grebstad Hicks specialises in travel, tourism, property and luxury lifestyle. Clients include the Maybourne Hotel Group, Silversea Cruises and Zuma.
“LLQ has a unique offer for the Chinese visitor, with an array of fine-dining and top class hospitality, catering to their desire for exclusivity and attraction to our royal heritage,” said Karen Baines, head of marketing and communications at the Heart of London Business Alliance.
However, as The Telegraph pointed out on 30 July, Chinese tourists are avoiding visiting the UK due to its "complicated and expensive" visa system.