Looking Outside Broadway for Ideas to Reach the Chinese Tourist

China is on track to bring over 1M visitors a year to NYC by 2018.  As the fastest-growing international market, what can Broadway learn from other industries about reaching out to these travelers before they’re in-market?

Taking a quick look at soccer (sorry, “football”): the NYC FC just launched a new Chinese-language website and created a presence on the social media platform Weibo in conjunction with the Chinese New Year in early February.  The president of NYC FC acknowledged in a press release that “we are seeing ‘soccer tourism’ increase tremendously.” After creating an online presence in Spanish, capturing the third-largest market into NYC became the team’s next focus.

How is this outreach happening with other entertainment brands?  The New York Yankees have had a partnership with the Chinese Baseball Association since 2007, allowing the Yankees to increase their brand recognition in China and to send scouts and coaches to help the CBA train their teams.  They’re taking a page from basketball, which learned that recruiting players from China can lead to profits from merchandising, broadcast rights and ticket sales to visitors from China.

And in the cultural market, museums are establishing a presence on Weibo, mounting exhibitions in China, conducting sales calls in China as part of their standard tourism outreach and offering apps and audio guides in both Mandarin and simplified Chinese.

As Broadway fights for its share of the Chinese tourist market, we should take a look at related industries to identify best practices to use for our own outreach.