Chinese group to explore Nevada City as tourism destination
September 28, 2016
A small group of Chinese visitors consisting of travel agents, business leaders and media members is due to arrive in Nevada City in late November to scout the historical town as a travel destination for their clients.
"They are an in-bound and out-bound tour operator, and they've been around for a long time. They have been doing a lot of tours in Canada and in eastern U.S. So they are putting together a national tour," said Lex Matteini, press manager for the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce, who is coordinating the visit.
The nine-member assembly, including representatives from China Visit Tour, WoRenXing Business Corp. and Sichuan News Web Group, will journey to Nevada City on Nov. 21 from Shasta County. After a short stay that includes a daylong tour of the town on Nov. 22, the group will embark on an expedition to Yosemite.
Matteini said the local history of Chinese miners sparked the visitors' interest in the Gold Country, who stumbled across Nevada City during a web search.
"Hopefully that is an indication that we are doing a good job of establishing an online presence for Nevada City — and that, in the future, more and more people will be discovering small towns like ours, from anywhere and everywhere around the world," he said.
According to Matteini, the Chamber reached out to the Nevada County Economic Resource Council in 2013 regarding drawing more Chinese visitors to the area, but the belief back then was that Nevada County might not be an ideal destination for Chinese visitors.
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"Their feeling was at that time that locally in the Gold Country, there wasn't a lot of interest in visitors from China, because they felt that what the Chinese visitors were looking for, was not what Gold Country really offers," Matteini said. "I think specifically what they meant was they felt locally, Chinese were looking for high-end luxury brands, outlet malls, to be buying gifts."
The ERC agreed to fund content in Chinese on the Chamber website for tour operators in San Francisco to direct Chinese visitors to the Gold Country on their way to Reno, Matteini said, but that was the extent of the initiative back then.
As the Chinese middle class experienced a rapid growth in recent years, however, so did Chinese visitors' interest in oversea journeys.
According to data provided by the Chamber, Chinese visitors to California are projected to reach 1.8 million in 2018, an increase of 78 percent from 2014.
"One of the reasons that Chinese visitors have such positive impact economically is because of the spending," said Matteini. "It's estimated at $6,000 per trip. And on a per-person basis, it's $2,932 per visit to California for a Chinese visitor, and that compares to $1,883 for other visitors."
He hopes that the visit will stimulate ideas and the economy in Nevada City.
"I don't think Nevada City is ever going to be a major international destination, but travel to all countries is starting to include more of the small towns," Matteini said. "That is true in Europe, and that is true in the U.S."
To contact Staff Writer Teresa Yinmeng Liu, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 530-477-4236.
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