Chicago and Mexico City: How Sister Cities Boost Tourism and the Economy

Dec 16, 14 Chicago and Mexico City: How Sister Cities Boost Tourism and the Economy

Posted by in Travel and Leisure

By Jenny Bergman, Junior Executive at The San Jose Group An old travel tactic is boosting tourism from Mexico City to Chicago: Sister Cities. The idea of “Twin Towns” and “Sister Cities” originated after World War II as an effort to rebuild diplomatic relationships and solidify peace. Today, the concept of sister cities extends past cultural and educational purposes, now creating a solid foundation for greater economic engagement between two cities. In 2013, Chicago and Mexico City signed a historic city-to-city strategic trade agreement, the first pact to be tried under the Global Cities Initiative. A project of Brookings and JPMorgan Chase, the Global Cities Initiatives calls for a joint effort in trade, investment and innovation. While Chicago and Mexico City have been Sister Cities since 1991, this trade agreement builds on existing cultural and economic ties between the two cities. Both cities are a top North America trading partner for each other, involving the trade of more than $1.7 billion worth of locally produced goods. Additionally, about 1.6 million people of Mexican descent live in Illinois, and the Chicago metro area has the fourth-largest concentration of Mexican immigrants in the U.S. An addendum to this partnership pact included an agreement to further cooperation on tourism promotion. The main focus of sister city partnerships today is on shared economic development, and the tourism industry is a huge factor in the economic well-being of a city. Travel from Mexico represents one of the highest sources of international visitors to Chicago, along with the U.K, Japan and Germany. In 2013, visitors from Mexico to the Chicago Metro area increased 42%. At least six flights bring travelers from Mexico City to Chicago each day, and 72% of Mexicans who flew to Illinois in 2012 or 2013 not go on to travel anywhere else, choosing to stay in the Land of Lincoln. Chicago was the most popular area for Mexican visitors during this time, with 96.1% of travelers to Illinois visiting the downtown area. These trips do not solely function...

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Mobile Shopping Trends

Dec 02, 14 Mobile Shopping Trends

Posted by in CPG

By Jenny Bergman, Junior Executive Intern at The San Jose Group   Motivated by the massive winter storm that spoiled in-store shopping plans and prevented presents from arriving on time, consumers got a head start on their holiday shopping this year. The holiday season accounts for more than one-fifth of retailer’s sales for the year, and shoppers now rely more on mobile devices to take care of their loved one’s wish lists. The Internet represents the favorite shopping destination of almost half of all consumers, and in the spirit of the recent Thanksgiving holiday, retailers should be grateful for the 75% of consumers expected to use their mobile devices to shop during the holidays, as online shoppers tend to spend more. Through mobile email marketing, social media and mobile apps, brands can target this increasingly large mobile-savvy shopper demographic. Email marketing messages can be an effective way to inform consumers about deals and promotions, as email offers influence 80% of online shoppers to make a purchase. However, if retailers want shoppers to open their emails, content should take center stage; emails must include both compelling texts and graphics–just having one will not be enough. The inboxes of consumers likely contain a multitude of emails from their favorite brands, as 91% of retailers around the world will integrate email marketing into their marketing campaigns during the 2014 holiday season. Social media platforms inform consumer shopping decisions in different ways, as shoppers tend to turn to Twitter for product reviews, Facebook for discounts and Pinterest to research ideas. Over the last 12 months, 30% of consumers made a purchase based on their engagement with a social network, and exclusive discounts on social media sites encourage consumers to complete purchases on social networking sites. As a marketing tool, native ads on social media continuously prove to be successful ways to entice shoppers, as they fit well in social content streams. “Effective digital campaigns and online retailers create even more competition among retailers during the holiday season,” said George...

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