“Chinese Tourists, Welcome to LA!”

From the AP:

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, on a trip to China, opened a first-of-its-kind city tourism office in Beijing on Monday that he hopes will encourage travel to his hometown and pump hundreds of millions of dollars into its economy.

“Los Angeles is putting down a permanent welcome mat for the tens of millions of Chinese tourists who will visit our great city in the coming years,” Villaraigosa said in a statement. “More tourism means more jobs and a healthier economy.”…

…The tourism office, run by the convention and visitors bureau, will target Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. It will market Los Angeles as an attractive business and leisure destination, and travel agents will help provide resources for international travel.

The office expects to vie for a good share of an anticipated 100 million Chinese travelers who are expected to visit the United States annually by 2020…

Any suggestion on sights, fellow Angelenos?

The Discussion: 17 Comments

Point them to Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive and other lands of ostentacious wealth. And be prepared for their disappointment.

October 10, 2006 @ 2:08 am | Comment

For an authentic experience, just keep them running around in automobiles throughout their entire trip.

October 10, 2006 @ 2:29 am | Comment

Actually, after my bike ride this weekend, I’d take them to Dockweiler Beach. So beautiful! And you can watch big jets take off.

I’ve lived in LA a long time but never think of it in terms of a tourist destination. I’d have a much easier time showing people around my home town, San Diego.

Ouch – okay, I just read the BBC article. Now that’s sad! Why is it that what I think is one of the least interesting things about California is what people want the most?

October 10, 2006 @ 2:31 am | Comment

(grumble), nothing personal but: You can ride a bike in Beijing too, but it’s still an unsustainable, environmentally irresponsible disaster zone of epic proportions. And Los Angeles’ petroleum-dependent infrastructure is even far, far more unsustainable than Beijing.

October 10, 2006 @ 2:54 am | Comment

This is irrelevant, and I’m not sure it warrants a post but this article is on Quanzhou, Fujian, where I live now. Apparently, at 3 am last Monday on the 7th floor of an apartment building not far from me, a guy got woken up by kisses. From a burmese python. This town is really fun, guys.

October 10, 2006 @ 3:04 am | Comment

Just show us the Red-Light-Zone. (I’m a Chinese.)

October 10, 2006 @ 3:40 am | Comment

Quick Lisa! Invest in a direct LAX-Vegas bus line!

October 10, 2006 @ 4:17 am | Comment

Heh-heh, I’ll look at the python article when I get home. I think we need a post on your new hometown.

Ivan, I actually live close enough to my office where I could ride a bike, IF I can figure out a route that will get me there with the least likelihood of getting killed by an errant BMW driver on a cell phone…I root for the price of gas to rise.

Fermi, we don’t really have one…well, there’s Santa Monica Blvd., but I really don’t think you want to go there…I think it’s more of a phone call kinda thing…

Dave, no joke! Though I actually think there might be such a bus line already. I am still cracking up when I think about my friend Anna (from China but now a US citizen) and her mother, a rather formidable Chinese woman who is of course totally into Vegas. I guess they got to a casino and Ma immediately got lost, Anna’s husband, who does not speak Chinese, was frantic trying to find her, and she was happy as a clam off playing slot machines, oblivious to it all…

October 10, 2006 @ 8:11 am | Comment

This reminded me of a BBS story of a British reporter showing some Chinese chefs around California.


Best parts:

“The chefs want to see skyscrapers and glitzy shopping malls. So instead of relaxing in the Bohemian neighbourhoods of San Francisco, I end up taking them to Los Angeles and driving them around the mansions of Beverly Hills and the swanky designer boutiques of Rodeo Drive. (…)

“They are just not interested in exploring American history and culture, and they don’t want to see spectacular scenery, they’ve got plenty of that at home. (…)

“What they do want is to see how America measures up to the American Dream. (…)

“Even lovely San Francisco doesn’t fit the bill. “If that’s going to be the end result of China’s development,” says one, “then I’m really in despair.” (“GRRR”! – Shanghai Slim lived in San Franciso for 18 years)

“The extravagant mansions and leafy avenues of Beverley Hills are more promising. “This is what we should be aiming for,” says one of the chefs.”

October 10, 2006 @ 12:30 pm | Comment

Yeah…I mean…who among us does not love San Francisco??

Actually, I’d say there’s a lot of interest in scenery amongst a lot of Chinese who visit here…Yosemite, the desert, etc.

October 10, 2006 @ 2:00 pm | Comment

D’oh — this reminds me; I was going to write something up on the government’s new tourist guidelines before I got sidetracked. The short version is that there are two handbooks — one for domestic travellers, one for Chinese going abroad. There’s a pretty clear class distinction between the two, as evinced by the first recommendation of the one for “domestic travellers” (whom the writers assume to be peasants) — “Don’t spit everywhere.” The booklet for international travellers doesn’t have any reference to spitting at all.

October 10, 2006 @ 3:58 pm | Comment

Brendan, please do!

October 10, 2006 @ 4:06 pm | Comment

Hey, you know what, it’s a small world! I saw brendan and fermi here (I think they are what they are).

From my careless first read I took it as “Chinese Terrorists, Welcome to LA!”. Man, that’s not the stated policy of Villaraigosa, but someone else … I’m happy I was wrong

October 10, 2006 @ 6:34 pm | Comment

Brendan, the writer of the booklets you mentioned made a poor choice. The spitting should be mentioned in ALL Chinese guidebooks. Also, no-light-up should be highlighted in their elite training material – NYT once reports that Mr. Wang Guangya (China ambassador to UN) chain-smoked in UN lounge, which is absolutely non-smoking.

October 10, 2006 @ 6:43 pm | Comment

Any suggestion on sights, fellow Angelenos?

I thought you guys are more often referred to as ‘gringoes’.

Richard, I believe you have been totoally overwhelmed by the developments for the past week or so – American school shootings, North Korea, Taiwan, Shanghai – so that you overlooked a life-and-death story that you might wish otherwise. The ExplorerWeb by mountaineers chronicles a horrible shooting spree of the trigger-happy Chinese on Tibetans. Keep updated on http://www.mounteverest.net and let the story out. US media keeps relatively silent about it so far.

October 10, 2006 @ 7:05 pm | Comment

Bellevue, Richard’s on vacation. I’ll check it out.

October 11, 2006 @ 1:16 am | Comment

Fortunately you guys are not taking group holidays ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you everyLisa.

October 11, 2006 @ 7:33 am | Comment

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