Tourism Vancouver Inks Technology Deal with Tencent
Last month, Tourism Vancouver signed a pioneering technology deal with China industry giant Tencent in an effort to attract more Chinese tourism, now known as the world’s fastest-growing travel market.
This first-of-its-kind deal will include Tencent Travel and its partner, Trip Advisor China, working to promote Vancouver as an international model for smart city tourism.
As part of the three-year agreement, Tencent will provide Vancouver with cutting-edge mobile technology that will offer interactive digital services to Chinese travelers and set a global benchmark, while Trip Advisor China will cross-promote Tencent Vancouver content to Chinese audiences.
“Our Tencent partnership will bring new tourism business to Vancouver from China,” said Stephen Pearce, vice president of marketing for Tourism Vancouver.
He added, “Tencent media platforms are used by 90 percent of China’s population and will give Vancouver a powerful boost in the travel market.”
Last year, Tencent’s $530 billion market cap valuation propelled it past Facebook and into a top spot among the largest corporations in the world. The tech company is responsible for some of China’s biggest news and social media apps including WeChat, which boasts nearly a billion daily active users.
Together with Tencent, Tourism Vancouver will launch Canada’s first official WeChat city app to provide real-time services to Chinese tourists.
The app will include interactive itineraries, check-in features and location-based information curated for Chinese travelers, and will be designed to draw visitors to attractions, shopping and restaurants they may not previously have known about, along with details such as opening times, addresses, contact information and dynamic maps.
The cooperation will also include data-sharing and analysis to provide better services to Chinese visitors to Vancouver and creative online and offline promotions.
China is now Vancouver’s second largest international travel market after the U.S., with the popular Canadian city expecting to host 333,191 overnight visitors from China this year alone.