Washington, D.C. offers unique tourist program that partners with WeChat

China 24

A unique tourist program in Washington, D.C. partners with WeChat

Millions of Chinese tourists travel to destinations around the world every year.

A popular spot is the capitol of the U.S., Washington, D.C.

Now, they have a new tool to help them during their visit.

As CGTN’s Frances Kuo explained, it’s the first of its kind in the United States.

This is the time when Washington shines – when cherry blossom trees reach their peak, along with the tourist season.

Among the millions of international tourists who come to Washington, the Chinese represent the largest group. According to Destination DC, the capital’s main marketing organization, the number of Chinese visitors is expected to rise by as much as five percent next year.

“China has become our #1 market,” Elliott Ferguson, president & CEO of Destination DC said.

The organization has become the first in the U.S. to launch what’s called the “City Experience Mini Program.”

“Someone had to dip their toe in the water to find out what the impact was,” said Ferguson. It’s a partnership with “WeChat.”

The program provides an interactive guide for Chinese tourists, right on the social media app.

“It’s kind of like you hired a free tour guide to introduce what you do, what you should find in the city.”

Features are in Mandarin and allow Chinese users to look up famous Washington landmarks, restaurants and shopping areas.

It also provides information like locations and user reviews, all in one spot.

“I don’t need to open up another map.  Most times we use WeChat so I can just open this in my WeChat.  So this part is convenient,” Yana Liang, who has used the app said.

Since the program is on the app, tourists like Liang can also communicate with other WeChat users about their experiences.

“You have nearly a billion followers on WeChat so why not look at that as an opportunity to grow and promote our destination and have those potential visitors look at DC through a different lens,” said Liang.

“Not only will it enhance the number of visitors to Washington but also the length of their stay when they’re considering visiting the Washington area,” said Ferguson.

The program is just one of the tools Destination DC had made available to Chinese visitors

This promotional video is in Mandarin, sharing all that D.C. has to offer.

“I think Chinese visitors are longing for that American experience,” said Ferguson.

It’s an experience D.C. hopes to bring to them while making them feel right at home.

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