Strasbourg Christmas Market in New York / Credit: Jenny Hughes

Of course, there was mulled wine, pie flambé and pretzels (which are written here pretzels). Strasbourg's first Christmas market in New York was inaugurated on Thursday, December 5, in Bowling Green (south of Manhattan) in the presence of several representatives of the Greater East region, the consule Anne-Claire Legendre and the Ambassador from France to the United States Philippe Etienne, who is "an Alsatian quarter".

After Tokyo, Seoul and Moscow in particular, it is now the turn of New York to host the "chalets" of the famous Alsatian market, organized for more than four centuries in Strasbourg. With this operation, which will last until December 22, the Greater East region, which includes Alsace, Lorraine and Champagne-Ardenne, wants to convince the Americans to visit him. She arrives on favorable ground. Overnight stays from the United States in Alsace rose by 14.5% in 2018 to reach 140,985 overnight stays, according to the latest report of the Observatoire du Tourisme d'Alsace (ORTA).

"Americans are the first far-away (outside Europe) tourists from Alsace, but there is potentialnotes Marie-Reine Fischer, president of the Regional Tourism Agency Grand-Est and mayor of the small town of Dinsheim-sur-Bruche. Moving this Christmas market to New York is first and foremost a meeting with New Yorkers and Americans that we want to organize. It is a desire of seduction. With this first offer, we want to make them want to discover all the attractiveness of Alsace ".

The regional actors of tourism did not skimp on the arguments of sale. The opening of the market was preceded by a press conference in a beautiful room of the National Museum of the American Indian to extol the assets of Alsace – its wine route, its UNESCO sites, its gastronomy, Mulhouse and its museums, Colmar "Little Venice" … – from American journalists. Darley Newman, presenter of the travel program "Travels with Darley" (PBS), also participated in the operation-seduction.

For Paul Meyer, deputy mayor of Strasbourg, the export of the Christmas market of the city is not only a pretext for "to present to the world our heritage, our wines, our local crafts, our restaurants ", it's also a way to dredge a customer "demanding who will not go into windbreaker buy a stork made in Asia and leave".

"Why come to New York? Because we want to get out of mass tourism. We do not do any advertising outside to invite tourists to Strasbourg. We target places. We love New Yorkers because we know they are demanding. They saw a lot of things. They will take the time to understand our history, to taste the gastronomic and architectural heritage ".


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