July 24, 2007

Nevada Commission on Tourism to Lead Industry’s Fifth Tourism-Building Mission to China

Hotel, convention and airline officials from Las Vegas and Reno will participate in the Nevada Commission on Tourism's fifth annual tourism-building mission to China, designed to attract more visitors from the country with the world's fastest-growing economy, Lt. Gov. Brian K. Krolicki announced Monday.

During the sales mission Aug. 5-10, Krolicki and commission Director Tim Maland, joined by industry partners, will receive briefings from high-level officials at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai about visa policies and other issues that affect travel between China and the United States. Marketing and sales representatives will promote Nevada as a choice destination at special presentations for Chinese tour operators and trade show organizers in both cities. The meetings will include an update on visa procedures.

"Nevada must compete proactively for the lucrative tourism business China generates," Krolicki, commission chair, said. "Our missions open doors for Nevada's No. 1 industry with influential Chinese officials and give us an opportunity to 'sell' our attractions and draw more visitors from China to our state." Krolicki participated in several previous tourism sales missions to China at his own expense while serving as state treasurer, but this will be his first visit as lieutenant governor.

The mission will mark the third anniversary of Nevada's opening a state tourism office in China in 2004 and receiving the first license that China ever granted to a U.S. tourism entity to advertise to outbound Chinese travelers.

"China is a very important international market for Nevada, and we will make the most of this opportunity to show Chinese tour operators and trade show organizers all that we have to offer," Maland said. "Face-to-face meetings are the most effective way to make the contacts and establish the relationships we need to increase our tourism business with China to the benefit of our economy."

Maland has visited China many times in past years as a hotel industry official with responsibilities in Asia, but the August mission will be his first since becoming Nevada's tourism director in January, succeeding Bruce Bommarito. He and Krolicki will be interviewed by Chinese news media and will conduct a news conference in Beijing on Aug. 9.

Assisting in arranging appointments in China is Karen Chen, the commission's chief representative in China and director of the commission's tourism office in Beijing. Accompanying Krolicki and Maland will be Ellen Oppenheim, president and CEO, and Ralph Witsell, executive director of tourism, for the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority, and Terry Jicinsky, senior vice president of marketing for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Oppenheim also serves on the Nevada Commission on Tourism.

Sales and marketing officials and top executives from several Las Vegas and Reno resort hotels and airlines that provide aerial sightseeing and a Las Vegas travel agency will participate in the tourism mission at their own expense.

Nevada state tourism officials first ventured into China in 2002 to initiate contacts and since then have made annual missions to expand and increase business with the lucrative Chinese visitor market.

 CONTACT: Chris Chrystal Email Contact  Bethany Drysdale Email Contact  Nevada Commission on Tourism 775-687-4322  www.travelnevada.com

SOURCE: Nevada Commission on Tourism