by Lisa A. Grimaldi | November 10, 2017
NYC & Company, New York City's destination marketing organization, and Tokyo Metropolitan Government have signed an official partnership to boost international tourism between the two destinations. The alliance includes the exchange of marketing assets to boost reciprocal travel, and the sharing of best practices in tourism marketing.
Japan is New York City's 11th largest source of overseas visitors, with the majority coming from Tokyo. Last year, the Big Apple welcomed 325,000 Japanese visitors; that number is projected to grow to 331,000 in 2017. The number of non-Japanese travelers to Tokyo last year was 13 million, a 10.2 percent increase over the previous year. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has a goal of attracting 25 million international visitors by 2020. 
During a Tokyo ceremony marking the partnership, NYC & Company's President and CEO Fred Dixon said, "New York City and Tokyo are among the greatest cities of the world. Each are recognized as thriving global capitals of innovation, design, cuisine and culture. There could not be a better time for us to align our efforts to promote each other's dynamic and vibrant destinations and sign this first-ever tourism partnership. We look forward to learning from each other and working together in the years ahead to create mutually beneficial opportunities to increase international travel by positioning NYC and Tokyo as not-to-be missed destinations."
At the same event, Yuji Fujita, head of Tokyo's Bureau of Industrial and Labor Affairs remarke, "New York City was Tokyo's first 'sister city.' Since the establishment of this relationship in 1960, our two metropolises have enjoyed a great deal of exchange. We hope this new tourism partnership between New York City and Tokyo will result in more international visitors coming to Tokyo from New York, and lead to even more opportunities for exchange between our two cities. As Tokyo gears up for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, our goal is to welcome 25 million visitors to our city by 2020. I am confident that our partnership with New York City, one of the world's greatest tourism destinations, will be extremely beneficial for the international tourism of both our charming cities."