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Gov. Snyder promotes Pure Michigan as tourism destination during China investment mission

Cultural, recreational opportunities can attract international travelers 

Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015

LANSING, Mich.  – Gov. Rick Snyder is making tourism and shared cultural and travel promotional opportunities between Michigan and China a key priority as he continues his fifth investment mission in the country.

Earlier this week the governor spoke with travel journalists at the Great Wall at Mutianyu and Wednesday he met with a number of major travel media in Guangzhou at the Canton Tower.

Governor at Canton Tower

Gov. Rick Snyder stands on the 112th floor observation deck of the Canton Tower in Guangzhou, China, talking to reporters about tourism and promoting travel to Michigan. He's joined by David Lorenz, vice president of Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The tower is the tallest in China and third-tallest in the world.
“In our conversations with the media and business leaders here in China, they continue to be impressed by the unspoiled wilderness and unique cultural attractions Michigan has to offer travelers,” Snyder said. “By building these relationships in China, we have the opportunity to tap into one of the fastest growing inbound travel markets in the United States to help grow international tourism here in Michigan, boosting our economy and creating jobs.”
Last year, Michigan hosted more than 3 million international travelers, who spent $1.5 billion in the state according to Tourism Economics. With the strong business connection between Michigan and China – business travel accounts for a large portion of international travel into the state – and more than 7,000 Chinese students attending university in Michigan, there are tremendous opportunities to encourage additional leisure travel in the state by these groups boosting our economy and creating jobs.

According to the U.S. Travel Association, 1.8 million Chinese travelers visited the United States in 2013, spending an average of $7,200 per Chinese visitor – the highest of all international visitors. China is positioned to take over as the top overseas inbound travel market within the next five years and Gov. Snyder has already begun laying the groundwork to attract those visitors to Michigan.

During his 2013 investment mission to China, Snyder launched the first-ever Travel Michigan China Office. The office is responsible for promoting tourism from China to Michigan, working closely with key travel agents, airlines, media, and brand partners throughout the country to establish Michigan’s position as a world-class destination for rapidly increasing numbers of Chinese visitors.  

Since opening the Michigan tourism office in China, representatives have provided a series of training sessions for major Chinese group tour operators, introducing them to Michigan and the tourism products available in the state – from urban adventures to scenic getaways – as well as attended a number of leisure and business travel trade shows in China on behalf of Michigan tourism.

The Travel Michigan China Office has partnered with organizations including Brand USA and Delta Airlines on initiatives including group media press trips to Michigan. As part of these, Chinese media traveling to Michigan are introduced to destinations including Detroit, Traverse City and Mackinac Island, which showcase Michigan’s vast travel offerings. The office also manages the official Pure Michigan Chinese website.

“With daily flights landing in Detroit from Chinese markets including Beijing and Shanghai, China offers great potential for Michigan’s tourism industry,” said David Lorenz, vice president of Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “As we promote Pure Michigan to the media and travel operators in China, we are also demonstrating that Michigan and China can work together on a wide variety of cultural opportunities.”

During his mission, Snyder will visit companies and meet with business leaders and senior government officials in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, and Shanghai in addition to Beijing.

Other missions led by Snyder or Lt. Gov. Brian Calley have included Japan, South Korea, Canada, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Brazil, Mexico, Israel, Chile, and Columbia.

Follow the governor's trip on social media at #InvestInMI. Additional photos are also available here.


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