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Dubai Tourism Launches New Campaign Starring Popular Chinese Emoticon “TUZKI”

Campaign will showcase famous white rabbit’s Ultimate Dubai Vacation to Chinese netizens. Netizens invited to participate in campaign via an interactive H5 game and stand a chance to win one of four holiday packages to Dubai. The emirate welcomed over 575,000 Chinese visitors from January – July 2019, consolidating Dubai’s ongoing commitment to China.

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has announced a partnership with Turner Asia Pacific, a WarnerMedia company, to launch a new digital campaign starring the popular Chinese emoticon “Tuzki”, as part of efforts to further increase tourist traffic to the emirate from China. Reaffirming Dubai Tourism’s ongoing commitment to tap into the vast growth potential of one of its top five source markets, the campaign aims to provide Chinese visitors with an interactive, highly engaging campaign leveraging the power of the iconic internet character “Tuzki’ to create a relatable link between Chinese netizens and Dubai. 

The campaign will feature a series of short digital clips showcasing Tuzki’s Ultimate Dubai Vacation to educate netizens about the emirate’s key points of interest and its most iconic experiences. Netizens will be invited to follow Tuzki’s journey on DubaiTourism.cn, Weibo and WeChat and can interact via a dynamic H5 platform, where they can ‘virtually’ play with Tuzki in Dubai for the chance to win one of four ultimate holiday packages. The prize includes roundtrip economy flights for two, airport transfers, four nights’ accommodation and the opportunity to enjoy one premium experience such as a hot air balloon ride, At The Top at Burj Khalifa, Al Marmoon desert experience and the Aquaventure waterpark.  

With robust growth in overnight visitors from China in the first seven months of 2019, the Dubai Tourism initiative aims to further raise awareness of Dubai as a top travel destination during autumn and showcase the city proposition and the diversity of its offering. Chinese netizens will also be inspired to book a Dubai holiday during the National Day Golden Week falling from 1 – 7 October 2019.

Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM) said: “China continues to be one of the top source markets for Dubai’s tourism industry, and we are committed to engaging Chinese tourists all year round through innovative marketing activities. Our partnership with Turner highlights the importance of leveraging digital platforms to raise awareness levels in a creative way. Through Tuzki, we aim to capture the imagination of Chinese netizens to participate in the campaign via social and digital touchpoints, further highlighting our ongoing efforts to work with relevant industry partners to deliver initiatives that will highlight Dubai as a ‘must-visit’ destination.” 

“This digital rabbit is the perfect ambassador for Chinese tourists to Dubai, and will show them that this remarkable place has a unique personality and welcomes them with a sense of fun,” said Clement Schwebig, Turner’s Managing Director of China and Asia Pacific CFO. “Tuzki has found himself in many interesting places over the years – from the screens of millions of young Chinese mobile users to the Paris Fashion Week catwalk. But being the centre of such an innovative project is certainly up there as one of the most epic!”

The dynamic campaign serves as an integral component of Dubai Tourism’s marketing strategy which has the support of the department’s agile and responsive stakeholder ecosystem to collectively evolve the value propositions in line with increasing demand for unique travel experiences. The partnership with Turner Asia Pacific marks a new milestone in this endeavour, with the instantly recognisable figure appearing in a destination campaign for the first time, helping to further promote Dubai as the preferred destination of choice for Chinese visitors. As a campaign spin-off it would also help drive increased overnight visitor numbers via Dubai Tourism’s partner platforms Ctrip and Tuniu.

In a clear indication of China’s rising prominence as one of Dubai’s fastest growing source markets, the first seven months of 2019 saw over 575,000 visitors arriving from China – a 12 per cent growth compared to the same period in 2018. The strong showing is a reflection of Dubai Tourism’s successful strategies to maintain high conversion appeal for China’s outbound market through platform-based awareness programmes; customised trip planning and advocacy-driven collaborations; and in-city experiences and ‘China Readiness’ delivery. Notable successes this year include the launch of the Dubai Mini Assistant, an enhancement of the city-experience Mini Program, one of the applications of the WeChat ecosystem, featuring 10 new mobile-based digital audio tours to highlight in-city accessibility, local historic sites and cultural landmarks for Chinese netizens.  The Dubai College of Tourism also launched the Chinese Traveller Standards for tourist-facing staff across city touchpoints to enable them to deliver personalised, exceptional Dubai experiences to every Chinese guest.

Encouraging and enhancing private and public sector collaboration on activities such as the city-wide Chinese New Year celebrations, are just some of the steps taken by the Department over the past few years, each of which has contributed to raising awareness of Dubai in the Chinese market. Dubai Tourism’s ongoing partnerships not only increased market penetration with native language content and complemented the marketing activity of Dubai Tourism’s four in-market offices, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu but also advanced Dubai Tourism’s ‘China Readiness’ strategy designed to grow and maintain the emirate’s share in one of the largest outbound tourism source markets in the world. 

Since 2006 TUZKI has evolved to become a symbol of China’s youth and is the most original way of expression online. This unique rabbit – created with simple but distinctive black and white lines – is known for his wise thinking and exaggerated body movements. TUZKI’s personality and cool attitude has made him a genuine icon for Asia, establishing himself as one of the most recognizable characters in China. TUZKI loves to travel and has left his pawprint in Japan, Korea, India, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the US and throughout Europe and other regions. TUZKI emoticons have already been downloaded and shared an incredible 800 million times across a number of social media and messaging platforms, including WeChat, QQ, Facebook, Kakao Talk, Line, Sogou and iMessage. The first TUZKI animated episodes called “TUZKI, Let’s Trick Again” aired in October 2017. Turner China is also partnering with Tencent Pictures to create a TUZKI theatrical CGI movie. In 2018, he also became a fashion icon, with some help from designer Manish Arora at Paris Fashion Week 2018. He has his own themed restaurant and café, and a TUZKI attraction will feature at the Six Flags Zhejiang and Six Flags Chongqing theme parks. TUZKI is an IP owned by Turner Asia Pacific, a WarnerMedia company. www.clubtuzki.com

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