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Beijing beauty adds to Thanksgiving fun

Updated: Nov 29,2014 10:28 AM     China Daily

From left: Li Li, executive vice-president of the Sino-American Friendship Association; Fang Zehua, commissioner of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development; Zhang Meifang, deputy consul general of the Chinese Consulate General in New York; Xue Yaping, director of the China National Tourist Office in New York; Zhang Jinping, president of the Sino-American Friendship Association; Pan Xiaopeng, deputy director of China National Tourism Office New York; Zhang Jing, director of the city image and marketing of the Beijing commission, stand in front of lion-dancing performers at the starting area of Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on Nov 27 in New York.[Photo/China Daily]

For the first time in Macy’s 88-year Thanksgiving parade history in New York, there was a Chinese float, the Beauty of Beijing.

The float featured tourism sites in Beijing, a band playing both Chinese and American songs, flag dancers and lion dancing. People waved to the lion dancing performers and raised their cellphones for pictures as children cheered.

Officials expected that the float, along with other promotional efforts during the Thanksgiving holiday week, could attract more international tourists to China. The United States is the fourth-largest source of foreign travelers to China and the largest to Beijing.

“It’s the first time that we have used such an international festival to promote Beijing’s tourism,” said Zhang Jing, director of city image and marketing at the Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development.

It’s an innovation. “The float delivers the message that Beijing is forever an ideal destination for tourism, and helps promote the image of China,” said Xue Yaping, director of the China National Tourist Office in New York.

Lion dancing proves to be popular among spectators.[Photo/China Daily]

Performers hold flags showing Beijing and the Great Wall before the Thanksgiving Parade starts.[Photo/China Daily]

The float, Beauty of Beijing, featuring several of the city’s landmarks, on the parade route in Manhattan.[Photo/China Daily]

The Beijing float features Beijing landmarks, including the Temple of Heaven (middle) as well as other Chinese elements, such as Chinese characters and traditional Chinese decorative knots.[Photo/China Daily]