Will Chi­nese tourists ‘ heart’ New York too?

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSSAMERICA - By EL­IZ­A­BETH WU in New York For China Daily

It’s no se­cret that in­vest­ment by Chi­nese busi­nesses in New York has helped both Chi­nese and US busi­nesses flour­ish. Now China South­ern Air­lines and “I Love New York” — New York State’s tourism agency — have part­nered up to pro­mote global tourism in New York State. And it should be another shot in the arm for New York’s econ­omy.

Around 1.8 mil­lion tourists from China vis­ited the US last year. With an av­er­age spend­ing of $3,297 per tourist per trip, they con­trib­uted $877 mil­lion to New York City’s econ­omy alone, ac­cord­ing to At­tract China, a mar­ket­ing com­pany that helps busi­nesses in the US es­tab­lish an on­line pres­ence to lure vis­i­tors from China.

New York Gov­er­nor An­drew M. Cuomo an­nounced on Aug 6 that China South­ern Air­lines and “I Love New York” were launch­ing a part­ner­ship to pro­mote New York State for global tourism and busi­ness. The part­ner­ship is in sup­port of the Gov­er­nor’s Global Tourism ini­tia­tive.

The pro­mo­tion of­fi­cially got un­der­way with China South­ern Air­lines cel­e­brat­ing its in­au­gu­ral di­rect flight from Guangzhou to JFK In­ter­na­tional Air­port, the air­lines’ first ever di­rect ser­vice to the US’ East Coast.

“Col­lab­o­rat­ing with Asia’s largest air­line will make ev­ery­thing that we have to of­fer more ac­ces­si­ble to China’s bustling mar­ket, quite lit­er­ally pro­vid­ing a gate­way to the iconic Em­pire State,” Cuomo said.

“New York is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing record lev­els of tourism in both New York City and Up­state New York, and our ad­min­is­tra­tion will con­tinue to fos­ter this surge so that spend­ing by vis­i­tors and in­vest­ment by busi­nesses can con­tinue to grow lo­cal economies,” the gov­er­nor added.

The part­ner­ship in­cludes train­ing key China South­ern Air­lines sales staff on New York State tourism high­lights, en­abling tour op­er­a­tors to of­fer New York State va­ca­tion travel op­tions and col­lab­o­rat­ing on pub­lic re­la­tions ef­forts to pro­mote New York.

China South­ern Air­lines Chair­man Si Xian­min said: “We are thrilled to launch our di­rect route to New York City and part­ner with the gov­er­nor in his ini­tia­tive to pro­mote Chi­nese tourism in New York, a state not only boast­ing epic sky­scrapers but also one en­dowed with nat­u­ral beauty and re­sources and one that har­bors a cul­tur­ally di­verse and friendly peo­ple.”

Em­pire State Devel­op­ment Pres­i­dent, CEO and Com­mis­sioner Ken­neth Adams said: “This new mar­ket­ing part­ner­ship with China South­ern Air­lines fur­thers our ef­forts to pro­mote tourism across the state. There is so much to see and do in New York and we look for­ward to wel­com­ing vis­i­tors from China to ex­pe­ri­ence all of New York State’s rich his­tory and cul­ture.”

“China South­ern Air­lines and New York State have goal in com­mon, and that is to get more peo­ple to come to New York,” said Gavin Landry, New York’s ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of tourism.

China South­ern Air­lines, the third-largest air car­rier in the world, now has four di­rect flights a week from Guangzhou to New York. “China it­self is a source mar­ket for global tourism,” said Landry, not­ing that it is on the top five list of coun­tries with the most vis­i­tors to New York State.

“As the Chi­nese econ­omy flour­ishes, there is a grow­ing de­mand for travel,” said Landry.

Landry said the num­ber of Chi­nese vis­i­tors com­ing to New York has been grow­ing. “A mil­lion Chi­nese are al­ready liv­ing in the New York City area, the Chi­nese di­as­pora pro­vides a great op­por­tu­nity for tourism as well. Peo­ple have their rel­a­tives and fam­ily vis­it­ing,” said Landry.

Ear­lier this year, “I Love New York” es­tab­lished of­fices in Bei­jing, Shang­hai, Guangzhou and Chengdu.

“I think more Chi­nese vis­i­tors will be a tremen­dous help to the econ­omy,” said Charles Mon, vice-pres­i­dent of Si­noAmer­i­can Tours based in Man­hat­tan. “More tourists from China will also ben­e­fit the cruise in­dus­try.” Con­tact the writer at read­ers@ chi­nadai­lyusa.com.

HU HAIDAN / CHINA DAILY

Per­form­ers in­vited by “I Love New York”, New York State’s tourism agency, per­form at JFK In­ter­na­tional Air­port on the morn­ing of Aug 6 to cel­e­brate China South­ern Air­lines’ in­au­gu­ral flight from Guangzhou to New York.

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