Earlier this month, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and The Hague Mayor Pauline Krikke signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signifying a new partnership between the two cities. The agreement was developed over the past five years by the convention bureaus for both cities, after several years of informal collaboration.
One of the main goals cited in the joint press release is to increase knowledge sharing for events — Ottawa hosted One Young World in 2016, and The Hague tapped into that experience when hosting the same youth leadership summit two years later.
The first joint event took place Sept. 10 — after the signing of the MOU — at the Louwman Museum in The Hague. It was attended by more than 100 representatives from the two cities as well as association buyers from the meetings industry.
According to Nienke van der Malen, director of The Hague and Partners, the new partnership “will benefit a host of different stakeholders, whether it is clients, hotel and venue partners or us as destinations. In particular, the mayoral support means we are approaching this project in a cohesive and focused way, confident that we can deliver solutions across both cities for association and corporate events from many different sectors.”
On Sept. 17, NYC & Company and VisitBerlin also signed an official city-to-city tourism collaboration agreement. Like the partnership between Ottawa and The Hague, the partnership will focus on knowledge sharing in tourism marketing and destination management between the two cities. It will also focus on developing sustainable tourism solutions.
The two cities are collaborating with the Pasadena-based ArtCenter College of Design on a TestLab project, which will allow an international team of students to visit New York City and Berlin to make recommendations on how to improve tourism in both cities from a design standpoint, for both visitors and residents alike.
“Among the many high-profile TestLab Berlin projects we have conducted over the years, the TestLab Travelism New York/Berlin project is the first time where our students will immerse themselves consecutively in two creative capitals of the world. This will immensely broaden the horizon of everyone involved, informing the exploration, thinking and making of creative solutions towards responsible tourism,” Nikolaus Hafermaas, a professor at TestLab said, in the joint press release.
For more on how cities seek to improve tourism, read our September cover story, “Crowd Control.”