Nevada to open tourism office in China

CARSON CITY, Nev. -- The Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT) will open a state tourism office in Beijing June 11 as it tries to up the ante and endeavors to attract more visitors from China.

The NCOT said Nevada is the only U.S. state to have earned certification by the China National Tourism Administration to operate a tourism office in that country.

Honggxia "Karen" Chen, who worked for more than a decade for China Hainan Airlines and managed its South Korea office, will head the Nevada enterprise.

The NCOT, citing China's statistics, estimated that some 250,000 Chinese visit the U.S. annually and that 90% of them head to Nevada, with most visiting Las Vegas.

"We believe tourism between the U.S. and China will be very significant in the future," said NCOT executive director Bruce Bommarito, adding that 100 million to 300 million Chinese have the money to travel abroad.

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