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Pasadena Announces Campaign to Attract Chinese Tourists, Mayor Calls the Strategy a “No Brainer”

Published on Wednesday, September 16, 2015 | 6:20 am

The City of Pasadena on Tuesday launched a major marketing effort designed to increase the number of Chinese tourists who visit Pasadena. Both Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek and Pasadena Center Operating Company CEO Mike Ross said the economic benefits to the city are expected to go well beyond the dollars that will flow into hotels and restaurants.

“We believe that any visitor that comes into Pasadena potentially has the opportunity to bring their business here,” Ross said.

“We’ve had tremendous investments in our downtown and other parts of the city from China,” Tornek said. “The Singpoli company has developed just down the street and many of you are familiar with them. That kind of economic investment does tremendous things for our city.”

Designed to raise awareness of Pasadena as a premier destination among Chinese visitors, “China Ready” intends to develop new methods of attracting, serving and retaining Chinese tourists as well as providing the tools for Pasadena businesses and organizations to attract Chinese visitors.

Mayor Tornek pointed to changes in Pasadena demographics which make the focused campaign a “no brainer.”

“Over the recent times, change has been coming to Pasadena in a very aggressive and dramatic way,” he said. “Demographically for example, the fast growing population group in Pasadena is in fact Asian-Americans.”

“It’s a very short step from having a residential population to a business population,” he said.

Ross said the new “China ready” program will feature seasonal marketing campaigns, promotions, special events, design to showcase Pasadena’s hotels, tourist attractions, museums and convention facilities.

The City has retained consulting firm  China Luxury Advisors to advise on the rollout. The firm lists Neiman Marcus and other top companies on its clients roster.

Sage Brennan, a co-founder of the firm, explained his firm specializes in assisting brands to attract Chinese tourists.

Brennan said the Chinese spend about $11,657 per trip when they travel. Overall, the Chinese account for 28% of the world’s spending, ranking them the number one.

Christine Sousa who is director of Marketing and Communications for the Pasadena Convention and Visitors Bureau said the idea is building brand awareness so that the Chinese feel that Pasadena is a “must see” when visiting California.

She said she also hopes to add Pasadena to the tours that already travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley, so that Pasadena is on the map as a regular tour site.

Susan Williger, Director of Communications for The Langham Huntington, Pasadena, which has Hong Kong ownership, said she is very excited about this project to get Pasadena “China Ready,” knowing that most Chinese tourists favor luxury accommodations.

“The Langham Huntington, Pasadena is the perfect tourist destination,” she said.

The press event coincided with the debut arrival of two exquisite theatrical performances from China. The musical “Kunlun Myth” will come to life on September 15 through 17. It will be followed by performances of the musical drama Nasirdin Afandi on September 19 through 23.


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