Tokyo and New York launch cross-promotional tourism campaign

New York City is teaming up with Tokyo to push a cross-promotional tourism campaign. Source: TTstudio/Shutterstock

AUTHORITIES in Tokyo and New York will work together to drive tourism between their respective cities in an agreement that will run into next year, Tokyo’s city governor Yoriko Koike announced this week.

According to Campaign, the partnership is between the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and NYC and Company, New York City’s official marketing arm. And forms part of the Tokyo government’s “Action Plan for 2020.”

The campaign will see both cities engage in a wave of advertising aimed at enticing curious travelers to new shores. Material promoting Tokyo in New York will go up on bus stops and public WiFi stations, and there will be a boost in social-media outreach.

Advertising will also run across major news networks, CNN and CBS, and cinemas and airports in New York and Los Angeles.

Promotions for New York in Tokyo include advertising on the Toei subway line and social-media activities via the Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau.


Signs densely line an alleyway in Kabuki-cho, Tokyo. The area is a renown nightlife and red-light district. Source: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

At a press conference in Tokyo, Koike also presented the recently developed brand identity for Tokyo, which is designed to highlight the coexistence of history and modernity. “Tokyo: Old meets new” showcases the city’s deep-seated traditions as well as their trailblazing innovation.

“In Tokyo, the traditional and the cutting edge are intertwined in all fields,” the website reads. “From cuisine and the arts, to architecture, and the city is a constant source of new inspirations. Every moment, something exciting and unique is born. It’s time for you to experience them for yourself.”

Koike said Tokyo aims to attract 25 million visitors by 2020 and noted that while the city has had a close diplomatic relationship with New York since 1960, this marks the first time for the two cities to form a cross-promotional partnership.

New York drew 325,000 Japanese visitors last year and is aiming for 331,000 this year.

Cherry blossoms in full bloom in Tokyo. Source: Reuters

The Tokyo government hopes to use the scheme to draw tourists to the lesser-known areas of Tokyo and away from the central areas that commonly dominate any trip to the region. “We need to brag about it and showcase it more,” Chitose Maeda, city sales director for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said, speaking of the scenic Tama region.

According to the Japan National Tourism Organisation, nearly 50 percent of arrivals to the country between April to June were repeat visitors. At the same time, cultivating tourism and maintaining harmony is a delicate balancing act, as Kyoto has shown. A surge in visitor numbers in recent years has left the city struggling to cope, and authorities are now working to promote travel during off-peak seasons in an effort to restore balance.