As tourism from China soars, US caters to visitors with translations, celebrations, food | Star Tribune

business News Local Nation World Science Investigators Traffic Weather Obituaries Minnesota Topics Local North Metro West Metro South Metro East Metro Minneapolis St. Paul Your Voices Blogs + Columns Minnesota Topics Sports Vikings / NFL Twins / MLB Wolves / NBA Wild / NHL Lynx / WNBA Gophers Preps Outdoors Golf Soccer Blogs Video Business Economy Your Money Top Workplaces Blogs + Columns Business Finder Minnesota Topics Politics State + Local National Hot Dish Blog Opinion Editorials Our Columnists Commentaries Cartoons Letters Lifestyle Taste Home + Garden Travel Health Kids' Health Style Relationships Steals Blogs + Columns Entertainment Movies Music Eat + Drink Stage + Arts TV + Media Books Family + Fun Celebs Comics + Games Blogs vita.mn Video Obituaries View all Obituaries Place an Obituary Notice Classifieds Place an Ad Garage Sales Estate Sales Merchandise Pets Recreational Vehicles + Marina Newspaper Ads Autos Search Used Vehicles Sell your Vehicle Housing Advertise Buy a Home Rentals Commercial Foreclosures Find an Agent Mortgage Guide Senior Living Jobs Find a Job Your Resume Your Account Employer A-Z Top Workplaces Post a Job Home Business As tourism from China soars, US caters to visitors with translations, celebrations, food Article by: AMY TAXIN , Associated Press Updated: August 26, 2014 - 1:35 PM 0 comments resize text print buy reprints Tweet

prada handbag COSTA MESA, Calif. — On a hot summer day, nearly two dozen Chinese tourists descended from a white shuttle bus for an afternoon of shopping at one of Southern California's signature upscale malls.

New Prada Handbags Sale One tourist conferred with a salesman at South Coast Plaza about a plum-colored, $610 Prada handbag while fellow visitors on the 10-day tour sauntered through the mall, each with their sole child in tow, after a morning of whale watching off the California coast.

Prada Bag 2014 It's a common scene at the popular destination in Orange County, which is doing what it can to keep buses filled with Chinese tourists coming. To make them feel at home, it accepts China's UnionPay card and provides Mandarin-speaking salespeople.

Prada Bag 2014 From the mall's shops to tourist spots that offer maps and brochures in Mandarin to hotels serving congee, or rice porridge, for breakfast, businesses in California are trying to entice the growing numbers of Chinese tourists coming to the U.S. to visit the state — and spend money.

Cheap Prada Handbag Tourism from China to the U.S. has soared since the countries signed an agreement in 2007 promoting travel. More than 1.8 million Chinese visited last year, a three-fold increase in five years. By 2018, the number is expected to surpass 4 million, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

New Prada Handbags Sale California, the No. 1 destination, holds particular allure due to its proximity to China, theme parks and sunny weather. Nearly half of all Chinese tourists make a stop in the state.

Haybina Hao, of the National Tour Association, which qualifies U.S.-based tour operators to receive Chinese tour groups under the 2007 agreement, said the tourists are keen to see how a relatively young country like the U.S. developed so quickly and became so prosperous.

"Until they have visited U.S.A., they don't feel they have done their international travel yet," Hao said. "They need to see it and put themselves in the photograph, so they can prove they have done this."

During their travels, they each spend an average of $5,400, 21 percent more than the average for all overseas tourists.

"We see tremendous potential," said Nick Hentschel, vice president of AmericanTours International LLC. He said 15 percent of the company's business now stems from China compared to virtually none a little more than five years ago.

Hentschel said China is the only country where ATI, which originally focused on tourism from Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand, has opened a local office. "But it is cutthroat," he said, adding that some tour operators slashed prices to vie for a place in the Chinese market.

At first, tours from China mostly included older people, some who had saved for years to make the trip. But now more also include middle-aged parents bringing their only child to see America and school groups of teens who tour during summer break.

Many are eager to visit Disneyland and snap photographs at landmarks such as the Hollywood sign and San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. They enjoy trying American foods — steak is a favorite — and taking advantage of cheaper prices for designer goods.

"It's shopping paradise," said 35-year-old Cici Chen on a stop at Disney California Adventure. Chen said she planned to fill up her suitcases on her California vacation before returning to Shanghai.

In the early years, Disney officials traveled to China to try to explain to the elder generations what the park was about since many weren't as familiar with American stories and movies as are younger visitors today.

"A challenge was many of our Chinese guests were not familiar with the Disney stories," said Nicky Tang, director of Asia Pacific sales for Disney Destinations, of the older generation of tourists. "They grew up not knowing who Snow White is or Cinderella or Peter Pan."

Many Chinese tourists see America from large tour buses, while some travel in smaller groups or rent cars to explore on their own. Others come on trips sponsored by employers as job-related perks, and travel in huge groups.

A 7,000-strong contingent held a two-day meeting in Southern California earlier this year and then fanned out to travel across the region. A group more than twice that size is expected in California next year, said Ed Fuller, president of the Orange County Visitors Association.

read full article

1 2 next more from business In historic vote, Minnesota home health care workers unionize Best Buy is cautious about rest of the year Medtronic buys Sapiens SBS for $200M get related content delivered to your inbox You are now subscribed.   manage my email subscriptions 0 comments resize text print buy reprints Tweet from the homepage No one hit by shots at Minneapolis emergency room entrance Star Tribune preseason all-metro dream team In Little Falls trial, Byron Smith finally testifies, breaks down ADVERTISEMENT

Most read Most Emailed Most Watched Train derails on North Dakota-Canada border, prompts evacuation Cops called after fliers fight over seat recline Weed blaster shows promise as alternative to herbicides Burger King plans expansion of Tim Hortons Best Buy is cautious about rest of the year NLRB rules against Jimmy John's franchisee Pipeline changes will send more Canadian oil into Minnesota Cargill sues former executive, accusing him of stealing secrets Winona Diocese appeals to move clergy abuse trial from Ramsey County Cape May holds mysterious allure Archdiocese appoints ex-BCA chief to clergy abuse position Emmy Awards plan Robin Williams tribute Opinion: We have a president who literally doesn't look us in the eyes Cannon Falls dance coach fired in hazing incident Minnesota's highwaymen: 6 days on road with Trampled by Turtles Minnesota home care workers vote to unionize Newest Wolves players arrive in Minneapolis Vensel: Matt Cassel named starting QB Access Vikings: Cassel in at QB Access Vikings: Joseph expects to be ready for opener C.J.: Paul Allen, Voice of Vikings, now with less smoke More Video ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

inside the StarTribune local

2014 Minnesota State Fair coverage

lifestyle

State of Wonders: Summer's prairie song plays beautifully

home

Play Upickem: Pick the games, win prizes

news graphics

Interactive map: Finding best gas prices in metro

home

Adversaries on what's killing bees battle for our hearts and minds

entertainment

Soundcheck: Minnesota musicians up close

Global Search News Local Sports Business Politics Opinion Lifestyle Entertainment Obituaries Classifieds Autos Housing Jobs

425 Portland Av. S.

Minneapolis, MN 55488

(612) 673-4000

Company About the StarTribune Advertising Directory + Contacts Jobs at the StarTribune Newspaper in Education Vita.mn: Entertainment Business Listings Subscriber Services Newspaper Subscriptions Digital Access Today’s Paper Vacation Holds/Billing Newsletters Website Terms of Use Privacy Policy Ad Choices Site Index Buy Ads Online Ads Newspaper Ads Classifieds Store Article Archives Back copies Commercial Reprints Permissions Connect with Us Contact Us Send a press release Become a Fan Follow Us RSS © 2014 StarTribune. All rights reserved.

StarTribune.com is powered by Limelight Networks

Newspaper Subscriptions eEdition RSS Newsletters