China joins Thanksgiving parade fun in NY
For the first time in Macy’s 88-year Thanksgiving parade history in New York, there was a Chinese float, the Beauty of Beijing. The float featured tourism sites in Beijing, a band playing both Chinese and American songs, flag dancers and lion-dancing. People waved to the lion-dancing performers and raised their cellphones for pictures as children cheered. Officials expected that the float, along with other promotional efforts during the Thanksgiving holiday week, could attract more international tourists to China.
The United States is the fourth-largest source of foreign travelers to China and the largest to Beijing. “It’s the first time that we have used such an international festival to promote Beijing’s tourism,” said Zhang Jing, director of city image and marketing at the Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development. “It’s an innovation.” The float “delivers the message that Beijing is forever an ideal destination for tourism, and helps with the tourism industry of overall China,” said Xue Yaping, director of the China National Tourist Office in New York.
From left: Li Li, executive vice-president of the Sino-American Friendship Association; Fang Zehua, commissioner of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development; Zhang Meifang, deputy consul general of the Chinese Consulate General in New York; Xue Yaping, director of China National Tourist Office in New York; Zhang Jinping, SAFA president; Pan Xiaopeng, deputy director of CNTO New York; Zhang Jing, director of the city image and marketing of the Beijing commission, stand in front of lion-dancing performers at the starting area of Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on Thursday in New York.