The U.S. Foreign Commercial Service in Beijing and the U.S. Embassy in China have just launched a social media contest in China that promotes food tourism in the United States. Dubbed the “American Foodie Tour,” it encourages Chinese social media users to upload their best photos of U.S. regional cuisine to Weibo, with the best photo each week winning a prize, as well as entering the “grand prize” drawing that will conclude the contest in May.
The contest was launched with a three-hour event on April 14 in Beijing and attracted more than 10,000 social media viewers. It will also feature bi-weekly trivia contests with additional prizes related to food and travel in the United States. Regions featured in the contest are: the U.S. West/Northwest; Southwest, Midwest, South/Southeast and Northeast
The contest, as reported in Jing Daily, involves a wide spectrum of sponsors from the U.S. travel and tourism industry, as well as U.S. companies operating in China, runs until May 19. It is designed to promote regional cuisines. Each week the contest will be dedicated to a particular region in the United States. Social media users are encouraged to submit their own photos of a dish from the region, including the name of the dish, as well as where it comes from. Contest entries are judged by a panel of judges from both the U.S. Embassy in China, as well as representatives working in the Chinese tourism industry. In total, five regions will be featured in the contest, covering all of the United States.
Officially, the contest takes place on Weibo under the hashtag “#行美国品美食” (“Travel America, Taste Culinary Delicacies”), but the U.S. Embassy and its missions will also be announcing contest events and winners on other Chinese social media platforms, including WeChat. In addition, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, as well the U.S. Consulates in Shenyang, Guangzhou, and Shanghai will host in-person food and travel-related events at their cultural centers, inviting locals to experience and learn about U.S. food, culture, and travel.
Disneyland is the headline sponsors of the contest and is sponsoring its grand prize—a roundtrip to the United States, including a Disneyland vacation package and a stay at the Disneyland Hotel in Florida, as well as entrance tickets to a food and wine festival. Other travel-related sponsors include Brand USA, Delta Air Lines, Hertz, Hawaiian Airlines, Universal Studios, Visit Seattle, Visit Pittsburgh, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, United Airlines, DM Investment, and Galaxy Tour. Additionally, Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks are providing selected contest participants with vouchers for use at their coffee shops in China.