Berlin residents are attracted by handicrafts from Chengdu during the city's promotional campaign in Germany (China Daily.com.cn)
Chengdu's government and tourism businesses are expecting more foreign tourists in the city for Chinese New Year after holding promotional events abroad.
Chengdu, the capital city of Southwest China's Sichuan Province, is among the country's top destinations during Spring Festival, which will be celebrated from February 4-19. Local attractions include pandas, delicious cuisine, beautiful scenery and a variety of cultural traditions.
A promotional event in Athens, capital of Greece, on January 22, marked the beginning of Chengdu's overseas marketing campaign.
With the support of the Chinese embassy in Greece, this was the first time that Chengdu hosted a city-marketing event in a Greek city.
More than 100 representatives from the Greek government as well as local businesses and media attended.
Xu Yabin, deputy general manager of Chengdu Culture and Tourism Group, the corporate organizer for the event, introduced Chengdu's tourism resources to guests through pictures, videos and product displays.
Chengdu's food, intangible cultural heritage and landscapes were the highlights exhibited at the venue.
Visitors were treated to Sichuan Opera, paper-cutting, sugar painting, bamboo craft and a tea ceremony.
A Greek lawyer named Daphne was one of the visitors. She said she had been working for a law firm in Shanghai for several years.
"I had served a number of clients from Chengdu when I was in the law firm," said Daphne, adding that she hopes her firm will open operations in Chengdu.
A representative from a local meat products company, whose surname is Athanasiu, said he is considering a research trip to Chengdu.
Miu Bin, from Chengdu, who is studying drama at a university in Athens, said he plans to introduce Greek dramas to Chengdu after graduation, to contribute to the cultural exchange between the two ancient cities.
In the evening that day, the Chinese embassy in Athens held a reception to treat guests to genuine Chengdu dishes.
During the event, the governments of Chengdu and Athens signed an agreement of friendly partnership.
Chengdu will hold more Spring Festival-themed activities in Greece, with the aim to improve awareness of Chengdu's food, culture and tourist attractions among local residents.
Days after the Greek event, Chengdu kicked off a promotional campaign in Germany.
The event, called "Happy Spring Festival and Happy Trip of Chengdu", was opened at the Chinese Culture Center in Berlin on January 25 with shows of Chengdu dishes, handicrafts and Sichuan Opera.
A photographic exhibition featuring Chengdu's landscapes, people and arts is an important part of the event, which will last to February 28.
A show of Chengdu's food was also held at Potsdamer Platz, in central Berlin. The show was a carnival for the locals as they experienced the joyful atmosphere of Chinese New Year by tasting Chengdu food and watching cultural and arts shows.
A German tourism magazine publisher, whose surname is Hertus, said he is familiar with the term of Chinese New Year.
"I knew Spring Festival is a big day for the Chinese people," he said, "but it is from the shows of Chengdu's paper-cutting, sugar painting and Sichuan Opera arts, I got to understand the cultural connotations of the festival."
A young German man named Patrick said the shows of Chinese paper-cutting and sugar painting were almost "legendary" for him. At the event, he had a video chat with his mother, whom he said is an enthusiast of Chinese culture, and showed her the performances at Potsdamer Platz.
During the chat, Patrick and his mother said they hope to have a trip to Chengdu during next year's Spring Festival.
Chengdu's officials, who were in charge of the campaigns in Greece and Germany, said the events are meant to attract investors, as well.
"The events are ideal platforms to tell the stories of Chengdu and improve its recognition in the world," said an official from the Chengdu city government.