A record 1.3 million Chinese tourists visited the Golden State last year, collectively spending $2.9 billion. Visit California – the state’s nonprofit tourism marketing organization – has hosted more than 1,800 tourism industry partners in a statewide series of seminars to prepare the industry for welcoming Chinese visitors.
Today’s Global Ready China seminar in Mammoth Lakes, along with earlier seminars in Lake Tahoe and across the state, cap a three-year endeavor to prepare California’s tourism industry for Chinese visitors and establishes California as the first China Ready ski and snow destination in the nation.
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“We are rolling out the red carpet for Chinese travelers by becoming the first ‘China Ready’ ski and snow destination in the country,” said Caroline Beteta, President and CEO of Visit California. “This latest evolution of the innovative series keeps California businesses competitively positioned to attract and engage visitors from this critically important market.”
Endless summers are synonymous with California, yet for a growing number of Chinese visitors, it’s the state’s winter attractions and snow activities that are gaining popularity. From skiing to sledding, or just enjoying a hot cocoa on a picturesque snow day – California is home to one of the longest ski seasons in North America with the ultimate landscape for the perfect snow adventure.
“California’s ski resorts are the perfect place for visitors from around the world to explore the diverse opportunities winter destinations have to offer,” said John Urdi, Executive Director, Mammoth Lakes Tourism. “We’ve seen an significant uptick in Chinese visitors in recent years and are adapting our customer experience to make sure their trip to the Golden State is one-of-a-kind.”
California is expecting visitation from China to continue its rapid growth, with an estimated 2 million annual Chinese visitors expected by 2020. To ensure California’s ski and snow destinations are well-positioned to accommodate international visitors, Visit California’s Global Ready China seminars provide businesses with the insight they need to provide unique, tailored and culturally relevant vacation experiences for visitors from China and around the world.
“International visitors are an economic engine for local communities, providing valuable jobs and fueling growth for our tourism industry,” said Andy Wirth, President and CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, the parent company of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows ski resorts. “With the record snowfall this season, we’re committed to becoming Global Ready so that Chinese visitors can enjoy all California’s winter wonderland has to offer.”
Since 2015, Visit California has hosted Global Ready China seminars to equip local businesses with cultural, sales and service trainings to ensure a quality travel experience for visitors from California’s top overseas market. Attendees represent all sectors of the travel industry, including hotels, attractions, retail establishments, restaurants, tour operators and more.
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