Group of 7,000 ends historic California tour

Updated: 2014-05-28 11:34

By Cindy Liu in Los Angeles (China Daily USA)

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Group of 7,000 ends historic California tour

From left: Tom Tait, mayor of Anaheim, Guowei Xu, vice-chairman of Perfect China, Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California, and Kish Rajan, director of Office of Governor Edmund Brown Jr and Office of Business and Economic Development, attend the press conference on Tuesday at Anaheim convention center in California. Cindy Liu / China Daily

After a week-long visit in various places in southern California, including Los Angeles and San Diego, the 7,000-person Perfect China group arrived in Anaheim and celebrated their visit on Tuesday at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Caroline Beteta, CEO of Visit California, hosted the press conference to celebrate the historic event with partners who worked on bringing this largest ever Chinese visitors group to California.

In an interview with China Daily, Beteta pointed out that it is consumer satisfaction that makes Chinese interested in coming to California. Chinese are number one among all international visitors every year to California. Among all Chinese tourists, California is number one on their list of American destinations.

Every year the number of Chinese visitors is increasing. Visit California is expecting a 63 percent increase in the amount of visitors from year 2013 to 2016. $2.2 billion are estimated to be spent in their travel to California including shopping, touring and transportation.

Visitor California also estimated that every attendee of 2014 Perfect China group spent $2,500 during their stay in California. "China's tourist group is considered to have the biggest buying power among all international visitors," Beteta said. "We are making sure this exceptionally important group of guests has their best experience ever in their stay here in California."

Tom Tait, mayor of Anaheim, gave a keynote speech at the conference. He expressed his appreciation to the China delegation for choosing Anaheim as their destination among all choices of cities. "I see Anaheim has a lot in common with Perfect China group," Mayor Tait said. "First, Anaheim is a perfect city. Second, Anaheim is the city of kindness. Just like compassion, the core value in Perfect China, Anaheim values people helping one another, which I hope will bring our Chinese guests great memories about their experience in Anaheim."

Guowei Xu, vice-chairman of Perfect China, told the audience that to many Chinese visitors, it is a "California dream come true". Even though 400 of the group members could not eventually come because of visa problems, the Perfect China group had a successful trip in California this year and will plan another trip next year. "We have taken 86 flights, stayed in 26 hotels, and according to Union Pay, our group attendees have spent $10,000 each this visit. We are making history," Guowei said.

Kish Rajan, director of the office of Governor Edmund G. Brown and the office of business and economic development, gave the credit for the 7,000 person group's success to the in-depth long term relationship of California and China in culture and economics.

"I witnessed the rich relationship of California and China in my last trip with the governor in April 2013," Rajan said. "The foundation of the cultural exchange and economic cooperation is already there, built by people of California and China. We are going to make it deeper by having this meaningful and incredible 7,000 perfect China group here."

The Conference and Visitors Bureau of Beverly Hills hosted more than 800 Chinese visitors of this Perfect China group, attracting them with their world famous luxury goods shopping areas. Mary Saunders De Hoyos, senior director of business development of the bureau, told China Daily that "We have launched our special China Ready programs to make Chinese visitors feel at home when they stay in the 5-star, 4-diamond hotels in Beverly Hills and go shopping on Rodeo Drive."

Disney Resorts, having been working with MICE group for many years for its international corporate clients such as, Samsung, Amway, Perfect, China Life, Johnson & Johnson and Mercedes Benz, received its biggest tour from China.

"We want to highlight that besides other cities like Los Angeles, Orange County is another good place to go because it is the heart of Southern California," said Bob Deuel, PR director for the Disneyland Resorts.

A lot of Chinese tourists are FIT, or free individual tourists. Niki Tang, Asia Pacific sales director at Disneyland Resorts, said that Orange County is a better fit for these FIT guests because they have more time to spend when traveling.

"This event is important for people to know what Orange County is offering," Tang said. "It is also a perfect opportunity for Chinese guests to discover Disney culture."

Thomas D. See, vice-president of sales at Universal Studios Hollywood, said that the movie making process was a true attraction for Chinese visitors. "I hope our unique offering in seeing how films are made becomes the most beautiful memory of guests in Perfect China group," See said.

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