Famous Scottish landmarks and attractions are to be "renamed" in Mandarin to promote the country in China.

The online campaign will see Chinese people suggest new names for sites such as the Royal Mile and Loch Lomond in the hope that it will spark interest and encourage more tourists to visit Scotland.

The VisitBritain project has already seen Stonehenge given the name Ju Shi Zhen - meaning huge stone clusters - and Buckingham Palace renamed Bai Jin Han Gong - a white, gold and splendid palace.

A total of 23 Scottish landmarks and foods will be put forward for suggestions, including the Loch Ness monster, haggis, kilts and the Wallace Monument.

Organisers of the £1.6 million campaign said it is common in China to give names to popular places, celebrities and foods that give a literal description of what Chinese people think about them, with Sherlock Holmes star Benedict Cumberbatch affectionately named Curly Fu by Chinese fans.

Launched today on VisitBritain's Chinese Weibo social media platforms, it will invite Chinese tourists to come up with fitting, amusing and memorable Mandarin names for some of Scotland's most loved attractions each week, with a final list of more than 100 UK favourites to be renamed by March.

Sally Balcombe, chief executive of VisitBritain, said: "Our ambition is to get the whole of China talking about Britain. This campaign will not only increase awareness of the experiences that Scotland has to offer but help encourage these valued Chinese guests to explore our nations and regions.

"We know that the desire to visit Britain amongst the Chinese is stronger than ever before. 'Great names for Great Britain' will put us ahead of the competition with one of the most creative tourism campaigns ever seen.

"Importantly, the campaign is social by design, so tweet us your own Scottish suggestions now at #greatnames."

Tourism leaders see China as a key market to attract visitors and recent surveys have seen the UK become more desirable as a holiday destination among Chinese people.

Denise Hill, head of international marketing at VisitScotland, said: "Visits to Scotland from China are increasing year-on-year, and the VisitBritain naming campaign is a fun and entertaining way of engaging with this huge target market.

"Spotlighting an array of great attractions, natural wonders and unique experiences right across Scotland, along with several well-loved icons, will help to spark conversations and debate, pushing our inspirational country up the list of 'must-do' destinations and generate interest and demand to visit places way beyond the current popular tourism hot spots."

The full Scotland list that will be given Mandarin names:

:: The Willow Tea Rooms;

:: Arbroath Smokies;

:: Malt Whisky trail;

:: Loch Fyne;

:: Haggis;

:: Fingal's Cave;

:: Glen Coe;

:: The Style Mile;

:: George Street;

:: The National Wallace Monument;

:: Eilean Donan Castle;

:: Culzean Castle;

:: Glenfinnan Viaduct;

:: The Elephant House;

:: Royal Mile;

:: Balmoral Castle & Estate;

:: The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo;

:: Highland Games;

:: Loch Ness Monster;

::The Kelpies;

:: Kilt;

:: Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park;

:: Cairngorms National Park.