New York City’s official destination marketing organization, and Marketing Manchester signed a first-ever official city-to-city tourism collaboration agreement. Formalized at a press conference at CULTUREPLEX in Manchester, the new two-year alliance includes a collaboration agreement between the two cities, the sharing of best practices in tourism marketing and a partnership with Virgin Atlantic to stimulate reciprocal travel.
NYC & Company president and CEO Fred Dixon was joined by Marketing Manchester Managing Director Sheona Southern and Virgin Atlantic’s Head of Brand Strategy & Campaigns Hai Bei Chen for the announcement and signing ceremony.
“It’s a pleasure to announce our newest tourism marketing partnership with one of the United Kingdom’s most important Northern England cities. Both destinations are capitals of diversity and iconic hubs of arts & culture, sports and media. We believe there is outstanding potential to further develop joint tourism opportunities between Manchester and New York City. We look forward to collaborating with Marketing Manchester, Manchester Airport and Virgin Atlantic to further solidify this new alliance and in so doing, welcome more visitors to our welcoming urban destinations,” said NYC & Company president and CEO Fred Dixon.
“Marketing Manchester has been delivering strategic and tactical marketing in the USA for many years and this formal partnership – based on an agreement to share insights and intelligence, connections and collaboration opportunities and access to media infrastructure – is particularly well-timed as we look to develop closer links with the country’s key cities like New York, which is served daily by Virgin Atlantic and other carriers with non-stop flights to/from Manchester Airport.”
The new tourism partnership between New York City and Manchester comes as Virgin Atlantic increases services between the two cities. Now flying its largest aircraft on the Manchester to JFK route, the Boeing 747, Virgin Atlantic is increasing capacity out of Manchester to New York by 65 percent this winter. Virgin Atlantic is also excited to announce it will debut its iconic Clubhouse lounge in Manchester for the first time this Spring. With a la carte dining and a full-service bar, quiet working spaces and a spa, Upper-Class customers and Gold Card members can relax and rejuvenate before their flight.
The city-to-city partnership includes the sharing of best practices in tourism marketing and destination management, including strategy around arts and culture, sports, and LGBTQ+ travel. As part of the new tourism collaboration, New York City and Manchester will exchange marketing assets worth $500,000 USD in each destination. New York City will utilize digital billboards on Manchester’s main roads, courtesy of Ocean Media and across TfGM (Transport for Greater Manchester) to promote the destination. Manchester will have bus shelters and Link NYC digital screens throughout New York City to promote its tourism message as well.
In 2020, New York City will celebrate several cultural milestones. The Metropolitan Museum of Art and American Museum of Natural History will both commemorate 150th anniversaries while the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx will debut the first large-scale exhibition of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s engagement with nature, including new works created specifically for the exhibit. The new Apollo Performing Arts Center in Harlem will debut in Fall, 2020, marking the first physical expansion of the theater in its 85-year history.
Additional 2020 developments include the observation deck Edge at Hudson Yards and the 50th anniversary of the New York City Marathon.
For Manchester, 2020 represents a significant cultural shift for the city with over $260 million of investment bearing fruit with: the opening of a new special exhibition gallery at the Science and Industry Museum; the reopening of Contact and Octagon theatres after significant upgrades; the expansion of iconic music venue Band on the Wall; the rebirth of iconic Wigan Pier; and the phase one opening of Europe’s biggest heritage gardening project, RHS Garden Bridgewater.