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Utah trade mission shifts focus to Chinese tourism


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BEIJING — Utahns can expect more and more Chinese tourists to be visiting the state in the years ahead. That's why members of the Utah trade delegation met with representatives from the Chinese tourism industry during their stay in the country this week.

The meeting was held at the China World Hotel in downtown Beijing, and featured a video from Xia Yu, one of the country's most famous movie stars.


The possibilities of Chinese travelers coming to the U.S. are most infinite.

–Bruce Bommarito, Bommarito Global Consulting


#bommarito_quote

"Utah is such an amazing place. I really had a great time in Park City. I really had a great time there," Xia Yu says.

The actor and a film crew took a trip to Park City in February, perhaps a symbol of the huge jump in Chinese visitors coming to the United States — up 221 percent since 2000.

"The snow powder is just incredible, and they were totally amazed by the quality of the ski resorts like this," said Sharon Wu, chief representative of the U.S. Travel Association in China.

"The possibilities of Chinese travelers coming to the U.S. are most infinite," said Bruce Bommarito, president of Bommarito Global Consulting.

With China's booming economy, more Chinese people have more disposable income. When they come to the United States, they typically spend an average of about $6,000 per person.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert spoke China Outbound Travel and Tourism Market about the unique attractions Utah has to offer.
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert spoke China Outbound Travel and Tourism Market about the unique attractions Utah has to offer.

"It's thought of as a badge of honor to bring back the things from the U.S., even things that maybe are made in China," Bommarito said. "But if there are U.S. brands, it's a badge of honor."

"Utah has a very unique geography, from the Rocky Mountains and ski industry up in the north to the beautiful rivers and slick rock of southern Utah," Gov. Gary Herbert said.

After a promotional video, the governor made the pitch at the huge China Outbound Travel and Tourism Market, where they pass out Utah travel guides and calendars by the dozens.

"We know Utah — firstly, Utah Jazz, NBA basketball," said Jun "Danny" Wu, a reporter for China Tourism News, "and maybe Chinese People want to see NBA basketball games in Utah, and they want to see the national parks in Utah."

"I'm astonished at how many people here in China know Utah," said Santa Clara Rep. David Clark, who is part of the Utah trade delegation currently in the country.

Kearns Rep. Eric Hutchings, also part of the delegation, said, "It's a great opportunity to promote what we think is one of the fastest growing industries in Utah."

Email: jdaley@ksl.com

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