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Tourism officials lead sales mission to China



CARSON CITY – The Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT) and partners in the tourism industry will conduct a business trip to China in April designed to boost travel to Nevada, Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki announced today. Leading the trip  will be Krolicki, who is chair of NCOT, accompanied by Tourism and Cultural Affairs Department Director Claudia Vecchio. Included in this trip will be a sales mission with Nevada business leaders looking to spur interest in and travel to the Silver State.

“China is a lucrative travel market demonstrated by the surge of Chinese visitors to the state of Nevada,” Krolicki said. “We have been working tirelessly for more than a decade with our tourism industry to foster relationships with key government officials, travel professionals and the media, and to create a dialogue around why Nevada should be the destination of choice for Chinese leisure and business travelers.”

Brand USA, a public-private partnership created by federal legislation to market the United States internationally, has identified China as a high-priority market, stating that demand for travel visas has increased 124 percent since 2005. According to the U.S. Travel Association, the number of visitors from Mainland China to the U.S. is expected to increase 219 percent by 2015.

“In January, a pilot program to simplify and speed up the visa process was established at the federal level, opening the doors to greater access than ever. Part of that plan is to increase visa processing capabilities in Brazil and China by 40 percent in 2012. If Nevada can attract 40 percent more travelers from China – who, according to U.S. Travel, spend more than $6,000 per person, per trip, the economic potential would be staggering,” Vecchio said. “That is why sales missions like this are so vital to our industry.”

NCOT’s sales mission will include an education seminar for Chinese tour operators on Nevada’s offerings; sales calls to travel agents and tour operators; meetings with airline managers and local tourism officials; and a briefing on other issues with senior U.S. officials in China. The group will travel to Beijing, Macau, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

In 2004, NCOT was the first U.S. tourism entity to be granted a license by the Chinese government to advertise travel in China. The license was the culmination of years of developing beneficial relationships with Chinese government and business officials, and periodic sales missions have served to reinforce those relationships and develop new contacts. NCOT also has signed “Friendship Agreements” with nine Chinese cities or provinces. The agreements are important symbols of cooperation between the destinations to promote travel between them.

In addition to efforts in China, the Nevada Commission on Tourism markets the state to international travelers in global markets including the U.K., Germany, France, Canada, Mexico, South Korea, Australia and Brazil. For more information on how the Nevada Commission on Tourism markets the state both domestically and internationally, please visit www.TravelNevada.com.

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