The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, working with NYC & Company, the city's official tourism marketing organization, announced the launch of Explore Chinatown, a new tourism marketing campaign to build awareness of Chinatown as an important New York City visitor destination and bolster business in neighborhood restaurants, shops, visitor and cultural attractions.
The two-year campaign, funded by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) and the September 11th Fund, is intended to help rebuild Chinatown's economy, which was severely impacted by the 9/11 attacks on lower Manhattan.
The Explore Chinatown campaign initiatives will include:
- The creation of a visitor website (www.ExploreChinatown.com) which will include information about the neighborhood, suggested itineraries, a calendar of events, cultural activities, nightlife, the history of Chinatown in New York City and an online map.
- A visitor information kiosk that will be built in Chinatown and stocked with information about Chinatown's cultural and community activities as well as information on downtown dining, entertainment and shopping.
- An Explore Chinatown brochure with a neighborhood map that will be distributed in Chinatown businesses, at the Chinatown Visitor Information Kiosk, NYC's Official Visitor Information Center, (810 7th Avenue at 53rd Street), NYC & Company Visitor Information Kiosks (City Hall Park and 125th Street in Harlem) and other visitor information distribution points throughout New York City.
- An official Explore Chinatown New York City logo campaign that will brand the initiative and increase Chinatown's visibility for New York City and metro-area residents.
- Corporate sponsorship opportunities and outreach to print, broadcast and online media nationally and internationally.
- One-on-one business development and marketing assistance to area business owners and Chinatown not-for-profit cultural organizations.
- Support of new and existing neighborhood events and festivals to highlight the arts and cultural community of Chinatown.
- Development of tourism packages and other programs involving Chinatown with key domestic and international travel industry partners.
A key component of the campaign will be a local advisory committee, whose members, which include representatives from Chinatown's businesses, cultural institutions, civic groups and area residents are playing an active role in providing input on the direction of the campaign. Explore Chinatown team members are visiting neighborhood businesses "door-to-door" to explain the campaign, educate on the value of tourism and solicit participation. To date, an extraordinary 85 diverse businesses have joined the Explore Chinatown campaign.
NYC & Company, the September 11th Fund and the LMDC will kick-off the campaign during National Tourism Week (May 10 - 16) and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and host a full itinerary of activities for tourism industry professionals, travel media and key interest groups who influence New York City's $21 billion visitor industry. Activities include familiarization tours for journalists, NYC & Company visitor information counselors, as well as other influential tourism partners in New York City. In addition, the Museum of Chinese in the Americas will launch a new exhibit, Chinatown On and After September 11th, as part of the campaign.
John C. Whitehead, Chairman of the LMDC said: "Tourists need to know the way to Chinatown to shop in the broad range of colorful stores and to enjoy some of the most diverse and delicious food in the area's many renowned restaurants, while New Yorkers must be reminded that Chinatown used to be one of their favorite evening and weekend destinations. This new campaign has every marketing aspect included to be successful in reaching out to these important audiences."
Kevin Rampe, President, Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, said: "Chinatown is a great destination filled with unique shops, restaurants and historic and cultural amenities. This new tourism campaign will ensure that visitors from around the world will help bring about the revitalization of this distinct community."
Carol Kellermann, CEO of the September 11th Fund said: "Thousands of people in Chinatown lost their livelihoods after September 11th and the community still hasn't recovered. Along with the employment, healthcare and mental health services we've been able to provide to the people of Chinatown, we believe the community as a whole will benefit from increased tourism."
NYC & Company Chairman Jonathan Tisch said: "This campaign is a remarkable example of the power of partnerships. Never before has there been such incredible cooperation both within and outside of Chinatown to create a successful tourism initiative. This effort will not only help raise awareness of this important New York City community, but also support local jobs through an increase in visitor spending."
Added Cristyne Nicholas, NYC & Company President and CEO: "No visit to New York City is complete until you visit Chinatown. Thanks to the LMDC and the September 11th Fund, a tourism marketing campaign for Chinatown will help guide millions of visitors to discover the richness of this vibrant neighborhood. Whether to enjoy the incredible cuisine, experience unique cultural attractions or shop for exquisite but affordable goods, Chinatown has so much to offer."
In addition to NYC & Company, the Explore Chinatown team includes Asian Women in Business, Dentsu Communications, M. Silver Associates, Soury Communications and a special Advisory Committee of Chinatown business and civic leaders.
The members of the local Advisory Committee, who were specially thanked during the press conference by the LMDC, are Spencer Chan, President, Sweet 'n' Tart Restaurants; York Chan, President-Elect, Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association; Ignace Cheng, President, NY Chinatown Promotion and Tourism Association; Amy Chin, President, New York Chinese Cultural Center; Margaret Chin, Deputy Director, Asian Americans for Equality; William Chiu, Chairman, America Fujian Association of Commerce and Industry; C.M. Choy, Proprietor, Silk Road Mocha; Jameson Gong, Producer and Host, TakeOut Comedy ChinatownNYC.com and resident of Chinatown; Charles Lai, CEO, Musuem of Chinese in the Americas; Andy Liu, President, Chang Wan Enterprise; and Betty Lee Sung, PhD, Professor Emerita, City University of New York. Furthermore, representatives from all the Elected Officials' Office have participated and contributed greatly to this effort.