Tokyo & New York City Tourism Promotion Partnership Launch Ceremony at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, Shinjuku, Tokyo (東京都＆ニューヨーク市 相互観光ＰＲパートナーシップ 新宿 東京)
The Governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike and Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company, the agency promoting New York City tourism both outlined the aim of the partnership in their respective speeches.
The aim of the partnership is, in short, to attract an increasing number of travelers from New York City to visit Tokyo, and vice versa.
As both Ms. Koike and Mr. Dixon pointed out, Tokyo and New York City are global cities, cities that have a strong worldwide socio-economic impact.
The two cities are sister cities since 1960. New York City was, in fact, Tokyo's first sister city.
Both cities are cities of great diversity. While Tokyo has attracted people moving in from all parts of Japan, New York City was built by immigrants from all over the world.
But the diversity doesn't stop with the people living in the cities. Both cities also feature a great diversity in their cityscapes, neighborhoods and their outlaying landscapes.
New York City has by far more to offer than the famous skyscrapers of Midtown Manhattan. Beyond the multi-fold ethnic neighborhoods in Manhattan itself and in the rest of the 5 Boroughs, with all their local food and cultures, NYC is also home to a great number of small but historic islands in the East River and the Jamaica Bay.
Tokyo on the other hand, may not be as ethnically diverse as NYC but its geographical diversity is extreme. Most people may think of the 23 Special Wards comprising central Tokyo when considering the city but Tokyo-to, the complicated administrative structure Tokyo actually consists of, stretches out in the west, far into the mountains of the Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park, to quaint old towns like Ome and to Okutama Lake. Mount Kumotori, located at the intersection of Tokyo with Saitama and Yamanashi prefectures, is Tokyo highest mountain, reaching an elevation of 2017 meters.
Tokyo Promotion Strategy
To attract a growing number of international visitors, Tokyo introduced in April 2017 its new "Tokyo, Tokyo, Old meets New" campaign. It is aimed at both visitors interested in traditional Japanese culture and at young people swayed by the manga, anime and cosplay culture of today.
In a promotional video shown by Ms. Koike, samurai sword fighters confronted sword-wielding anime heroes, Ukiyo-e wood print Edo Period street scenes were paired with images of the Shibuya Scramble today.
Tokyo is able to offer almost the whole spectrum of Japanese culture, was the message. From Edo Time arts like kabuki and Noh Theater to sumo wrestling and a great number of art museums to modern youth culture burning with vibrancy in the central Tokyo areas of Shibuya and Harajuku while the young digital technology scene presents its innovations in Akihabara.
New York City was presented as a city that has bounced back. Under the slogan of "New New York" the city was promoted as a safe and family-friendly travel destination with plenty of famous landmarks and shopping possibilities.
Tokyo and New York are both cities in a constant flux, constantly undergoing radical changes while preserving their history.
Signing of the Tourism Partnership
After Ms. Koike and Mr. Dixon ended their speeches, the partnership documents were signed by Mr. Yuji Fujita, Director General of the Bureau of Industrial and Labor Affairs of Tokyo and Mr. Dixon, representing New York City.
A panel discussion detailing the strategies of the Tourism Promotion Partnership concluded the Partnership Launch Ceremony.
The Towers Turn Blue
To mark the official launch of the new partnership, in the evening of November 10th 2017 the two most iconic landmarks of each city, Tokyo Tower and the Empire State Building were lit up in blue.
Activities to promote Tourism to Tokyo within New York City include bus stop waiting area advertisements at 62 locations throughout the 5 Boroughs as well as TV and airport terminal video shows.
Activities to promote tourism to New York City within Tokyo include Toei Subway hanging banner advertisements, Toei Subway station wall posters, Toei bus stop waiting area posters at 63 bus stops across Shinjuku and Shibuya.
The Tokyo Tokyo Old Meets New website in English tokyotokyo.jp features, among other information, the newest Tokyo promotional videos.
New York City & Company website www.nycgo.com