Shanghai and New York City announced on Thursday the start of a two-year tourism partnership.
The arrangement includes promotions in both cities, such as outdoor media advertising and tailored travel products.
New York City hopes to attract more visitors from Shanghai, the largest source of outbound tourism in China, according to Fred Dixon, CEO of NYC & Company, the agency responsible for promoting New York City.
Last year, the city received 852,000 Chinese tourists, 159,000 from Shanghai. Dixon estimated that the annual number of Chinese tourists would climb to 921,000 this year and at least a million in 2018.
Shopping and sightseeing are two most popular activities for Chinese tourists in New York City, he said.
Shanghai saw more than 636,000 tourists from the United States in 2015, up 0.61 percent from 2014.
Yang Jinsong, head of Shanghai’s tourism bureau, said the city has become more attractive with its new Disney resort and China’s tallest building, the Shanghai Tower, which is under a trial opening.
Shanghai has had a 6-day visa-free entry for international transit passengers since January and a tax refund policy for foreign tourist from 51 countries since last July.
The partnership is part of the “China-US Tourism Year” that was launched in February.