Feedback
Business

Air China Magazine Warns London Visitors to Avoid Ethnic Areas

Even for China, where companies have struggled with race issues in their marketing previously, the latest in-flight magazine from the country's flagship airline will likely come as a shocker.

Air China's Wings of China carries a long feature on visiting London, with almost a third of the magazine dedicated to tourist attractions in Britain's capital and other famous cities such as Oxford. The main article, titled "London, the city of 'hat tricks'," covers Brits' apparent fondness for all kinds of hats.

Then, after a section on transport options and lifestyle and cultural activities in London, Wings of China offers some "Tips from Air China."

"London is generally a safe place to travel, however, precautions are needed when entering areas mainly populated by Indians, Pakistanis and black people," China's flagship carrier advises. "We advise tourists not to go out alone at night, and females always to be accompanied by another person when traveling."

The advice is at odds with the London promoted by its Mayor Sadiq Khan, a Brit with Pakistani parents, who in July launched a #LondonisOpen campaign and frequently blogs about his favorite places to eat and drink in his South London Indian-Pakistani neighborhood of Tooting.

Meanwhile, Britain is an increasingly popular destination for Chinese tourists: Chinese visitors spent $786 million in total in Britain in 2015, up 18 percent on 2014.

According to government agency VisitBritain, more than 270,000 Chinese visited Britain in 2015, up 46 percent on the previous year. This was after the number of Chinese tourists doubled in the five years to 2014.

Air China did not respond to CNBC's request for comment on its London safety tips.