Choose Chicago signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for cultural cooperation with the China International Culture Association, under the guidance of the Ministry of Culture of the People's Republic of China. "China is Chicago's largest inbound overseas market," said Don Welsh, President and CEO of Choose Chicago.
The MOU signifies a commitment to further develop cultural ties in an effort to strengthen each as a prominent global cultural tourism destination.
"Mayor Emanuel recognizes the enormous potential of Chicago's visitor industry - particularly in China - and continues to invest. We are committed to the Chinese market, and it is with great pride that Choose Chicago signs this MOU today. We look forward to a rewarding cultural exchange that educates and enriches the experience for both our Chinese guests and for Chicagoans abroad in China." Welsh added.
The agreement signifies the beginning of a bilateral partnership to strengthen cross-cultural tourism initiatives in Chicago and China. Choose Chicago and the China International Culture Association will collaborate on strategic partnerships to drive visitation and promote cultural attractions and events from regional, national and international markets; educate cultural partners and travel trade through cultural exchange missions and trainings; and enhance programming for, but not limited to, Chicago's Chinese New Year celebration, EXPO CHICAGO and the Chicago Architecture Biennial for 2015 and beyond.
The signing of the MOU follows the launch of Chicago's first advertising campaign in China in collaboration with the Illinois Office of Tourism and with the support of Brand USA. The new leisure multi-media campaign began on May 4, 2015 and will run through June 30, 2015 in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. The campaign includes online video, digital display, paid content and social. The Chicago online video called "Chicago Epic," developed by FCB Chicago in collaboration with FCB Shanghai, highlights the epic experiences that Chicago offers, showcasing Chicago's award-winning restaurants, vibrant nightlife and shopping.
In 2013, Chicago became the first U.S. city to expand beyond its tourism and trade operations in Beijing and Shanghai and into China's third largest city, Guangzhou. In April 2015, Choose Chicago celebrated the opening of its fourth office in the City of Chengdu. The Chengdu office builds on Chicago's continued investment in the market, which now represents the leading inbound overseas market for Chicago with 128,000 Chinese visitors in 2013.
For more information on Chicago, please visit ChooseChicago.cn.