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Joint partnership means Korean Air discounts fares between New York & Seoul

Korean Air has joined the Seoul Metropolitan Government and NYC & Company, New York City’s official marketing, tourism and partnership organization to launch a first-ever, one year, city-to-city partnership to boost tourism between Seoul and New York City.

Acting Mayor of Seoul Young-Gyu Kwon, NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta, and Korean Air Managing Vice President Kee-Hong Woo made the announcement in the morning of 4 October at Seoul City Hall.

The agreement—the first of its kind between New York City and a city in Asia—includes a reciprocal multimedia marketing exchange between the two destinations and a special, limited-time Korean Air airfare from $1,055 for flights from NYC to Seoul. Flights must be booked by 31st October and travel must be between 1st November 2011 and 31st March 2012.

“We are delighted to be able to play a part in the promotion of tourism between Seoul and New York City. We hope that this will create an opportunity for both cities to learn from each other’s culture and we will work hand-in-hand to make this partnership a success,” said Kee-Hong Woo, Korean Air’s Managing Vice President and Head of its Passenger Business Division.

Korean Air began its new Airbus A380 service between Seoul and New York’s JFK Airport in August 2011.  A Boeing 777 is used for all other JFK flights.

“Korean Air will connect Seoul and New York, thus boosting traffic between the cities, resulting in cultural exchange and the increased awareness about each other’s cultures. I hope to see great things happen in this collaborative effort with our national flag carrier and New York City,” said Young-Gyu Kwon, acting Mayor of Seoul, as he celebrated the collaborative agreement.

“Seoul will be able to attract 10 million tourists while New York will establish the grounds to attract 50 million tourists and create new jobs as a result of this economic stimulation. We are certain it will become a model project for advanced city-based marketing,” added acting Mayor Kwon.

“With South Korea’s status as a visa waiver country, there’s outstanding potential to further grow the volume of travel between two of the world’s great cities.  We look forward to cultivating this important partnership to enhance our respective economies and to showcase the vibrancy and excitement our two cities share,” said George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company.

South Korea was admitted to the U.S. Visa Waiver program in November, 2008.

The city-to-city marketing exchange includes a swap of outdoor media and online assets. In Seoul, posters promoting NYC will appear in the financial, shopping and entertainment districts such as Jongno (downtown area), Gangnam (South of Seoul targeting consumers with high income bracket), and in the main train station, ‘Seoul Station’. In New York City, 70 posters promoting Seoul with an estimated 31 million impressions will appear throughout the City; in addition, digital ads will appear on the Clear Channel Spectacular screen in Times Square.

Both destinations also will share best practices in tourism management in an effort to build more visitations between both markets.

In 2010, New York City welcomed 223,000 visitors from South Korea, a 10% increase over the previous year.  Visitors from South Korea spent an average of $2,800 per visit and collectively $624 million in 2010.  To capitalize on growth from this market, NYC & Company established a Seoul office in 2007.  Seoul welcomed 653,000 visitors from the U.S. in 2010, a seven percent increase over the year before.

To better communicate with Korean consumers, NYC & Company unveiled a new Facebook page promoting the NYC destination. The page can be viewed at their Facebook page.


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