Shanghai and New York City announce city-to-city tourism partnership
Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration (SMTA) and NYC & Company, New York City’s official destination marketing organization, today announced a first-ever city-to-city partnership to boost tourism between Shanghai and New York City. The new, two-year alliance includes a reciprocal outdoor media advertising exchange in Shanghai and New York City, the sharing of best practices in tourism marketing between the two destinations, and other initiatives designed to stimulate travel between the two cities during this year’s “U.S.-China Tourism Year” and beyond. This marks the first time New York City’s tourism organization has inked a partnership of this kind in China. Chairman of SMTA Yang Jinsong and NYC & Company CEO Fred Dixon signed the agreement this morning at a press conference held at The Peninsula Shanghai.
“2016 is the ‘China-U.S. Tourism Year,’ designated by Chinese President Xi Jinping and United States President Barack Obama. During this year, the city-to-city tourism partnership is especially of great significance for both New York City and Shanghai. Shanghai Municipal Tourism always attaches tremendous importance to the cooperation and mutual benefits with New York City and other world famous tourist cities,” said Chairman of SMTA Yang Jinsong. “In alliance with New York City, we hope to call for a joint force from other world-famous tourist cities to share experiences and theories of tourism development at the appropriate time,” continued Chairman Yang.
“China is a crucially important market for New York City tourism—with our new city-to-city partnership with Shanghai, we will be well positioned during the U.S.-China Tourism Year and beyond to capitalize on more visitation from China’s largest city. We’re incredibly honored to be working with SMTA on this worthwhile initiative to boost reciprocal tourism between Shanghai and New York City,” said Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company.
Shanghai’s tourism industry has been flourishing in recent years, generating up to 350 billion RMB Yuan in revenue in 2015, a 2 percent increase year-on-year. This achievement is closely related to the improvement of the city environment and travelling elements. Recently, the world’s leading travel media company, Lonely Planet, announced its Best in Asia 2016 list. Shanghai is the only city in mainland China to be named on this list and ranking second place.
Beginning today, through the cooperation with the Information Office of Shanghai Municipality, outdoor media promoting New York City and its new global “See it for Yourself” campaign will appear throughout Shanghai in four major subway stations through August 11 (People’s Square, Xujiahui, Shanghai Science & Technology Museumand Xintiandi). Additionally, tonight, the façade of the Citi Bank Wall in Lujiazui will be lit with imagery promoting New York City. Reciprocally, Shanghai will receive 164 bus shelters in New York City from September 26 to October 23 to promote Shanghai.
During the press event today, NYC & Company also announced that international acclaimed pianist and New York City transplant Lang Lang will serve as New York City’s first-ever NYC Cultural Tourism Ambassador. Lang Lang, who has a home in Manhattan, and is a United Nations Messenger of Peace, announced his partnership with NYC & Company via a video statement this morning in Shanghai.
“I’m so excited to see New York City and Shanghai come together to promote two of the world’s destinations. New York City is a special place for me, one that I now call one of my homes. It is a great honor and privilege for me to serve as New York City’s new Cultural Tourism Ambassador for China—New York City inspires me every single day and I look forward to promoting this exciting City to my audiences around the world over the next year,” said Lang Lang.
As part of the new tourism push, NYC & Company will begin promoting more single-destination, longer, flexible and personalized FIT (foreign independent travel) trips to New York City (instead of multi-city tours that the Chinese have been accustomed to in the past), mirroring a new trend in Chinese travel. To that end, NYC & Company is collaborating with Ctrip, Utour, L&L, China Eastern and New York Hilton Midtown to create and promote this new product, being positioned and sold as “Weiwo NYC” travel packages in the China market. UnionPay is also joining forces with NYC & Company by promoting the product to their 5.4 billion cardholders in China, on their official website as well as through their social networks such as Weibo and WeChat.
Shanghai has long been a favorite destination for American tourists, and the number of American visitors travelling to Shanghai remains a stable increase in recent years. In 2015, American tourists made 636,377 trips to Shanghai, with year-on-year growth of 0.61 percent. Among all the attractions, they prefer to experience Chinese culture and visit water towns mostly.