New York City and Manchester sign first-ever city-to-city tourism partnership

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NYC & Company and Marketing Manchester signed a first-ever official city-to-city tourism collaboration agreement. The new two-year alliance includes a collaboration agreement between the two cities, the sharing of best practices in tourism marketing and a partnership with Virgin Atlantic to stimulate reciprocal travel. NYC & Company President and CEO Fred Dixon was joined by Marketing Manchester Managing Director Sheona Southern and Virgin Atlantic’s Head of Brand Strategy & Campaigns Hai Bei Chen for the announcement and signing ceremony.

“It’s a pleasure to announce our newest tourism marketing partnership with one of the United Kingdom’s most important Northern England cities. Both destinations are capitals of diversity and iconic hubs of arts & culture, sports and media. We believe there is outstanding potential to further develop joint tourism opportunities between Manchester and New York City. We look forward to collaborating with Marketing Manchester, Manchester Airport and Virgin Atlantic to further solidify this new alliance and in so doing, welcome more visitors to our welcoming urban destinations,” said NYC & Company President and CEO Fred Dixon.

Sheona Southern, Managing Director at Marketing Manchester added, “I’m incredibly proud that Marketing Manchester has been able to secure what is undoubtedly a very powerful partnership with NYC & Company. New York City is one of the top tourism destinations in the world and to be able to align ourselves with a city that we have so much in common with – especially in respect to being open, diverse and welcome destinations – is a huge coup and speaks volumes about Manchester’s increasing global profile.”

“Marketing Manchester has been delivering strategic and tactical marketing in the USA for many years and this formal partnership – based on an agreement to share insights and intelligence, connections and collaboration opportunities and access to media infrastructure – is particularly well-timed as we look to develop closer links with the country’s key cities like New York, which is served daily by Virgin Atlantic and other carriers with non-stop flights to/from Manchester Airport,” added Sheona.

The new tourism partnership between New York City and Manchester comes as Virgin Atlantic increases services between the two cities. Now flying its largest aircraft on the Manchester to JFK route, the Boeing 747, Virgin Atlantic is increasing capacity out of Manchester to New York by 65 percent this winter. Virgin Atlantic is also excited to announce it will debut its iconic Clubhouse lounge in Manchester for the first time this spring.

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic commented, “We’re incredibly proud to be part of this partnership and look forward to working with NYC & Company and Marketing Manchester to drive more customers travelling between Manchester and New York City. Growing our presence in Manchester is a huge focus for us – we recently increased capacity on our Manchester to New York route by 65% – and with additional services to Orlando, Barbados and Las Vegas we’re committed to offering customers more options than ever before from our home in the north.”

The city-to-city partnership includes the sharing of best practices in tourism marketing and destination management, including strategy around arts and culture, sports, and LGBTQ+ travel.  As part of the new tourism collaboration, New York City and Manchester will exchange marketing assets worth $500,000 in each destination. New York City will utilise digital billboards on Manchester’s main roads, courtesy of Ocean Media and across TfGM (Transport for Greater Manchester) to promote the destination. Manchester will have bus shelters and Link NYC digital screens throughout New York City to promote its tourism message as well.