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Mayor Price leads mission to Tokyo, Hong Kong to promote tourism, business

Posted Nov. 10, 2016

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Mayor standing with group of Japanese children
Mayor Betsy Price meets with children from Nagaoka, Japan, one of Fort Worth's Sister Cities, during her trade mission to Japan and Hong Kong.

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings have completed a trade mission to Tokyo and Hong Kong to promote tourism, business opportunities and diplomatic ties with the Dallas-Fort Worth region.

Mission delegates met with business executives and government officials in Tokyo and Hong Kong to showcase the benefits of operating in North Texas and to further establish relations between the two regions, focused on economic and development efforts, tourism opportunities and investments.

The trip underscored the role that international flights at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport play in the growing economic connection between North Texas and key Asian economies.

“It’s no secret that the Fort Worth–Dallas region has become a ripe area of growth for trade and tourism with Asian companies, welcoming passengers daily on direct flights from DFW Airport,” Price said.

The mission was especially timely for partnerships with Japan, as Japanese firms increasingly have established regional headquarters or operations in North Texas, highlighted by Toyota moving its U.S. headquarters to Plano from Southern California and OKI Data Americas’ recent opening of a regional sales office in Irving.

The number of Japanese companies with headquarters or other corporate functions in North Texas has jumped to more than 160 — with 20 additions since last summer — compared to 112 in 2012. Also, Japan Airlines resumed daily nonstop service last year between Tokyo Narita and DFW Airport, restarting a route that had been discontinued in 2001. The new route adds to American Airlines’ twice-daily nonstop flights.

Japan ranks seventh for international visitors to Dallas and Fort Worth, half coming here for business. Japanese visitors stay in the area an average of six nights and spend almost four times what domestic visitors spend.

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