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San Francisco Travel Association Selects Partnership of BRANDSTORY/World Idea Mart to Represent San Francisco and the Bay Area

BRANDSTORY/World Idea Mart’s contract will commence on July 1, 2016.


SHANGHAI, May 12, 2016 – The San Francisco Travel Association (San Francisco Travel) today announced that it has selected a new marketing contractor, a partnership of BRANDSTORY and World Idea Mart (WIM), to provide destination representation services in China. San Francisco Travel is the private non-profit organization that has been officially responsible for marketing the City of San Francisco as a travel destination for meetings, conventions and leisure travel for more than 100 years.

Based in Shanghai, BRANDSTORY, the award-winning travel representation company, together with World Idea Mart will employ a strategic mix of airline and travel trade partnerships as well as consumer marketing via partnership advertising, PR and social media programs. 

The partnership of the two firms will enjoy the presence of BRANDSTORY’s offices based in the key gateway cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong. With more China gateways offering direct air access than any other city in the U.S.A., San Francisco Travel’s new China team will also support the primary international gateway to North America, San Francisco International Airport (SFO). 

“The diversity, convenience and unique experiences of San Francisco resonate with the growing FIT segment from China, boosted by the 10-year multiple entry visa and increased air capacity from multiple Chinese gateways directly into the city,” said Tom Kiely, San Francisco Travel’s executive vice president and chief tourism officer. “We look forward to working with this creative, charismatic and passionate partnership to tap into the opportunities that the China market provides. Our partnership will allow us to develop innovative programs to educate and encourage more visitors and new customer segments to enjoy our great city."

WIM Principal Karen Lo, who spent half her life in the Bay Area, said, “We are extremely honored to be appointed by San Francisco Travel. We bring our relationships, experience and knowledge on the fastest growing outbound source market.

“The city and the surrounding area are just waiting to be discovered by the Chinese visitor, and we're here to help them find just that,” added Lo, the Account Director-Designate. 

BRANDSTORY counts famous destinations and attractions such as Hawaii, Las Vegas, the Capital Region of U.S.A., Universal Studios Hollywood, and Brand U.S.A. (for Taiwan and Hong Kong) amongst their U.S.A. clients,

BRANDSTORY Executive Director Peter Phang said, “With more than 400,000 visitors per year in 2015, China is the top overseas market for San Francisco and is set to keep on growing.

“With the most gateways from China connecting to more than 77 cities in the U.S., San Francisco will be the start of so many Chinese travelers’ visits to America. We will help tell the story to inspire journeys of discovery to this fantastic destination.” added Phang.

“We would like to thank East West Marketing Corporation China who has served as our in-market representative for 19 years” said Kiely. “Their professional support has helped San Francisco Travel establish a solid footprint in the Chinese travel market.”

The San Francisco Travel Association is the official destination marketing organization for the City and County of San Francisco. For information on reservations, activities and more, visit, read the Visitors Planning Guide or call 415-391-2000.  San Francisco Travel also operates Visitor Information Centers at Hallidie Plaza, 900 Market St. at the corner of Powell and Market streets and on the lower level of Macy’s Union Square. For more information, visit or  

American Express® is the official Card partner of the San Francisco Travel Association.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop flights to more than 40 international cities on 34 international carriers. The Bay Area's largest airport connects non-stop with 77 cities in the U.S. on 13 domestic airlines. SFO offers free upgraded Wi-Fi with no advertising. For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, dining, cultural exhibitions, ground transportation and more, visit  Follow SFO on and  

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