CHENGDU—The Chinese city of Chengdu has hired Beijing's BlueFocus and the UK's Honcho to help boost tourism.

The appointment by Chengdu Culture & Tourism comes one year after the capital of Sichuan province began direct flights to London Heathrow on British Airways. 

Best known for its giant panda population, the firms will also seek to promote Chengdu's status as the home of Sichuanese cuisine.

"It is culturally rich and diverse and has the added bonus of being the ‘home of the panda’," said Honcho PR's Amanda Slayton-Joslin. "We’re looking forward to helping British travellers find out more about this enchanting destination."

In recent years, the city of Chengdu has worked extensively with Ogilvy PR to lift its global image.