by Elise Schoening | September 18, 2019

NYC & Company and visitBerlin, the official destination marketing organizations for New York City and Berlin, announced a new tourism partnership. The mission is to collaborate and share best practices for tourism marketing, including neighborhood-promotion strategy, responsible tourism management and sustainability initiatives.  

In addition, the cities will be working with the Pasadena, Calif.-based ArtCenter College of Design's TestLab on an initiative in which selected students at the Southern California college will be invited to visit New York and Berlin to share their design expertise and offer recommendations for improving tourism in both destinations. 

The announcement was made at a press conference at the Consulate General of Germany in New York City. NYC & Company president and CEO Fred Dixon was joined by Berlin's deputy mayor and senator for economics, energy and public enterprises Ramona Pop and visitBerlin CEO Burkhard Kieker, all of whom took part in a signing ceremony.

This is the first time New York has joined with a city in Germany for tourism promotion. Last year, NYC & Company announced a similar partnership with Puerto Rico, and this May, the bureau began collaborating with Buenos Aires, Argentina. The arrangement with Berlin comes as the German city prepares for the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in November. 

The United States represents the biggest overseas travel market for Germany, with more than 451,000 American travelers visiting the EU country last year. Germany is in turn the sixth largest source of international visitors to New York City, bringing some 613,000 tourists to the Big Apple in 2018.

"We have long had an informal dialogue with visitBerlin, and it's fitting that we now formalize this new city-to-city tourism partnership," said Christopher Heywood, executive VP of global communications at NYC & Company. "We are particularly pleased that the TestLab initiative is part of the collaboration. This new element will allow NYC & Company to gain great new insights as we focus more on responsible tourism and destination management in the future."