Hainan Airlines, which launched a new direct flight between Boston and Beijing earlier this year, has partnered with travel consultancy Attract China to provide Chinese-language maps for Chinese tourists going to Boston, the companies announced. The map of Boston was launched in April and with the Hainan Airlines partnership, the map will now be co-branded and will be available to all Hainan Airline passengers flying into Logan International Airport in Boston, the companies said on Tuesday.
“There has been a steady increase in the demand for Chinese air travel to the United States,” said Zhang Ning, general manager of the Hainan Airlines Boston office, in a statement. “Through our partnership with Attract China, we hope to support this trend by providing ease of access and a resourceful Mandarin map to help these travelers navigate the city.”
The passport-sized map can currently be found at city information kiosks, in Boston Chinatown restaurants, and over 100 hotels in the Boston area.
“We are excited to announce this partnership with Hainan Airlines,” said Evan Saunders, CEO and co-founder of Attract China. “Both our companies are focused on ensuring that Chinese tourists have outstanding travel experiences. A key part of that is providing travelers with insights and information on the types of destinations that interest them. Working together, we’ll provide visitors with five-star experiences, ensuring that the US continues to be a premier destination for Chinese travelers.”
The map highlights shopping areas in the Boston area — which Saunders previously told China Daily that not many Chinese tourists knew were available — as well as 21 recommended destinations in the area such as Fenway Park, the Freedom Trail, and the USS Constitution Museum.
“Every time we would leave our office in central Boston, we would see the Chinese walking around, lost, looking at maps in English, trying to figure out where they were going,” Saunders previously said. “I speak some Chinese and I try to help them, but we realized this was a problem that needed to be fixed for the Chinese who arrive in the city and simply want to get around.”
Michael DiCarlo, chief operating officer at the Boston-based firm, told China Daily that Hainan Airlines got involved with Attract China after finding out about the company’s Chinese-language map.
“The map is not only a great tool for tourists but great for us also because it allows us to further solidify our portal, xiaoyaodao.cn as an important resource for Chinese travelers,” DiCarlo said, referring to the company’s travel website that targets Chinese tourists looking to visit North America. It was launched in May. “We are not just helping the Chinese tourists research their trip before they leave China, we also want to help them while they are here,” he said. Attract China is also looking to put out Chinese-language maps for other major cities in the US starting with Seattle and Chicago that are expected to be released this year, and expanding to others in 2015, DiCarlo said.
Hainan Airlines launched its Boston to Beijing route in June, with Boston previously being the largest US airline market that did not have nonstop service to China. Boston has seen continuing growth of Chinese visitors with many of them visiting the city’s colleges and universities.