Chengdu tourism attracts the world's attention

Updated: 2011-08-02 08:38


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Chengdu is attracting the world's attention to its flourishing tourism market. On Aug 1, another regular line between Chengdu and Hong Kong opened, adding 60,000 new seats for trips to Chengdu each year, creating new opportunities to reach the mainland city that has been aggressively promoting its attractions since 2004.

In late 2010, the Chengdu Tourism Operations Center opened in Hong Kong. Becoming the first mainland city to open a tourism office in Hong Kong gave Chengdu a huge advantage in attracting visitors who stop in Hong Kong first before continuing their China travels.

"Hong Kong enjoys a stable and mature market. At present, tourism bureaus and related enterprises from many countries and regions set up offices in Hong Kong. Moreover, Hong Kong receives more than 27 million foreign tourists each year and boasts wide popularity. Chengdu attaches importance to these advantages," a spokesman for the Chengdu Culture and Tourism Group said.

The Chengdu Tourism Operations Center in Hong Kong focuses on promoting the Chengdu brand and its resources, consolidating and extending marketing channels that already exist in Hong Kong, and finding travel partners in Hong Kong and abroad to steer more tourists to Chengdu. "Specifically, we will highlight our research and development and in-depth promotions of Chengdu tourism products. Developing theme tourism products that can attract tourists to stay longer for more cultural and tourism experiences in Chengdu is our first priority,” the spokesman said.

Brand marketing abroad

Just four months after the establishing of Chengdu Tourism Operations Center in Hong Kong, Chengdu tourism was initially introduced on four leading mainstream international websites. This marked the official start of network brand marketing of Chengdu tourism abroad. Chengdu officials held a special ceremony on March to announce the appearance of Chengdu tourism web pages on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr - the first mainland city to make an appearance on those famous websites.

Facebook, the world's largest social website with 650 million users, focuses on two Chengdu themes: pandas and "face makers". Twitter, the world's largest mini-blog, concentrates on Chinese painting and comic pandas. YouTube, the world's largest video website, shows pandas at play. Flickr, the world's largest photo website, displays hundreds of panda photos. Chengdu and Hong Kong tourism agency officials worked together on promoting Chengdu as the "hometown of the typical Chinese panda".

Next, Chengdu will continue expanding its Web reputation by launching localized and vertical interactive marketing on top social and travel websites, together with an expanding list of offline activities, to gradually realize links between the Chengdu official tourism website and seven more foreign mainstream websites.

In three to five years, Chengdu will have stabled a global network brand marketing system targeting international, regional and urban guest sources. Concurrently, Chengdu will also upgrade its official tourism website in good time, allowing travelers to directly book various tourism products online.

Becoming a major aviation hub

In order to offer convenience to more foreign tourists who plan to travel in Chengdu, Chengdu is planning to build what will become the fourth-largest aviation hub in China.

The throughput of Chengdu Shuangliu Airport reached nearly 26 million persons last year. Navigation with 42 international areas has been achieved, and 17 lines belong to straight flights. Chengdu plans to open 30 international direct flights by 2015, and add another two or three direct flights each year in subsequent years. "Direct flights are one of the key factors behind building the international aviation hub," a spokesman for the Chengdu Logistics Office said.

"As a matter of fact, Chengdu is obviously superior to the coastal cities for flights to the Middle East and Europe," the source said. Chengdu opened a direct flight to Amsterdam six years ago. Amsterdam is a transportation hub city in Europe. Chengdu will next focus on direct flights to the United States. Because more tourists select lines from the US to China via Tokyo (versus transfers from Shanghai), Chengdu opened a direct flight to Tokyo on June 18. Other airlines have opened non-stop international routes to Chengdu, providing one more advantage to attracting larger numbers of international tourists to Chengdu.