Texas issues RFP for tourism comms targeting Chinese-speaking markets

After beginning a search for an agency to attract tourism from the Japanese and Korean markets, Texas is looking for agency help reaching Chinese-speaking consumers in other Asian countries.

AUSTIN, TEXAS: Texas is laying the groundwork for a tourism PR and trade relations campaign in Chinese-speaking markets in Asia.

Its governor’s office is accepting campaign proposals that bring together "consumer, media, travel trade, and meetings-market activities" in countries where Chinese is prominently spoken, according to an RFP issued late last week.

It wants the firm to "be able to provide ‘ad hoc’ promotional marketing services as directed in the secondary markets" in Asia. Primary areas of focus include China, while secondary markets include Taiwan and others that "represent growth markets" now or in the future.

The contract is expected to run from October 1 through August 2015 with two annual renewal options, according to the RFP, which did not disclose an estimated budget.

The document stated that last year, direct travel spending in Texas was $67 billion, while travelers resulted in $4.7 billion in state and local taxes. The travel and tourism industries also supported nearly 600,000 jobs in the state last year, it said.

The RFP documents list the PR and marketing requirements as generating "maximum positive" press coverage, managing Texas tourism marketing efforts and social media promotions in target markets, and conducting consumer, media, and travel trade promotions. The state also wants a firm to tout Texas as a destination, creating marketing programs that allow for "maximum partner participation," and generating measurable results.

Strategies may include consumer promotions and media relations. The successful bidder will also be responsible for providing "ongoing crisis-management services" in target markets.

To win the contract, an agency must have physical offices in the US and China, with an on-the-ground location preferred in Shanghai.

Proposals are due by September 15, with a decision expected by October 3. A representative from the governor’s office was not immediately available for comment.

Earlier this month, Texas Tourism released a similar RFP seeking a firm to launch a campaign to attract travelers from Japan and South Korea.


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