Chicago attracts well over 45 million visitors a year, though only about 100,000 of those visitors currently travel from China to the Windy City annually. But Boston-based Attract China, a digital concierge service for Chinese travelers, today inked a new partnership with Hainan Airlines that is intended to boost interest among the Chinese in visiting Chicago, while making the visit for those who do come more enjoyable.
Attract Chicago said it will begin distributing a co-branded version of the company’s new Mandarin-language map of Chicago to all passengers flying into O’Hare International Airport on Hainan flights. Last year Hainan launched nonstop service between Chicago and Beijing, China, in hopes of growing the travel market between the two cities.
The passport-sized, keepsake Chicago city map was designed to help guide Chinese visitors around the city and highlight important points of interest. The flagship advertiser on Attract China’s Chicago map is Macy’s, which has two locations in downtown Chicago.
Altogether about 3 million Chinese tourists are expected to visit the United States in 2015, and according to Attract China research, those visitors will spend in excess of $14 billion while in the country. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has made growing tourism a key priority in his first term in office. And he is expected to ramp up those efforts even more if he gets re-elected in February.
A global tourism campaign from FCB Chicago was to have launched this fall to pull in additional tourists to the city starting next year. But Emanuel now has postponed the launch until late winter or early spring, after the Mayoral election. Founded in 2011, Attract China recently expanded its operations into the Chicago market. It already has tourism data for New York City, Boston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The company works to connect Chinese travelers with appropriate hotels, restaurants, retailers and attractions in select U.S. markets through customized Mandarin-language content, website and social media.