China’s tech giant Tencent and Tourism Vancouver have jointly announced the launch of a marketing partnership to promote Vancouver to Chinese travellers.

The multi-year partnership will see Tourism Vancouver gain preferred access to mobile tech, big data insights and media platforms including the Tencent-owned WeChat app, which has one billion active users.

Tourism Vancouver’s new mobile city app is available to 1 billion users on WeChat, China’s largest social media network.

As part of the launch, Tencent Travel unveiled Canada’s first official WeChat city app, a mobile guide that provides real-time services for Chinese travellers, including interactive itineraries, check-in features, and location-based information. The app will help Chinese visitors discover Vancouver attractions, hotels, shopping and restaurants they may not previously have known about, with details such as opening times, address, contact information, and dynamic maps for how to get there.

“Vancouver intends to be a pioneer in the future of travel from China,” said Stephen Pearce, Tourism Vancouver’s Vice President of Marketing. “Tencent mobile tech allows Vancouver to welcome Chinese visitors with personalised and effortless travel experiences.”

Tourism Vancouver’s cooperation with Tencent aims to attract more Chinese travellers from the world’s largest source of outbound tourism. China is now Vancouver’s second largest international visitor market after the United States.

“Tencent platforms provide a powerful bridge between cultures,” said Xu Chengjun, the Managing Director of the Tencent Administration and Tourism Centre. “Our partnership brings the charm of Vancouver to our users, both at home in China as well as while travelling abroad.”

Additional phases of the cooperation will include big data and user insight analysis to provide better services to Chinese visitors to Vancouver; e-payment integration; AI-powered customer service; and other creative campaigns. Strategic partner Trip Advisor China will cross-promote Tencent Vancouver content to Chinese audiences.

The launch event was held in the city of Guangzhou, Vancouver’s sister city in China since 1985, and was attended by over 100 official, media, travel trade and industry delegates.

This marketing partnership followed last May’s announcement that Tencent Travel and its partner Trip Advisor China will promote Vancouver as an international model for smart city tourism.

As part of the landmark three-year agreement, Tencent will provide cutting-edge mobile technology for Vancouver to offer interactive digital services to Chinese travellers and to set a global benchmark. Trip Advisor China will cross-promote Tencent Vancouver content to Chinese audiences.