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US Capital Courts Chinese Tourists

updated: 2011-06-07

Xinhua, June 6, 2011
The capital region of the United States may have not become the most popular destination for Chinese tourists, but a new Chinese-language website dedicated to the region may help.
The site, which complements existing versions in English, French, German, Korean, Spanish and Portuguese, makes it easier for Chinese people to explore the region, comprising the United States' capital city Washington DC and the nearby states of Virginia and Maryland.
The Chinese-language website was launched recently in Beijing by Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell during his visit to China.
"We are here to officially invite the Chinese people to visit the state of Virginia. As a top emerging market for tourism and business growth, and with daily non-stop United Airlines service from Virginia's Dulles International Airport to Beijing Capital International Airport, Virginia is an attractive one-stop destination from the capital of China to the capital of the US," McDonnell says.
McDonnell assures that Virginia can offer Chinese visitors unique experiences with both natural beauty and cultural attractions. The state's natural treasures include the Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah National Park and Chesapeake Bay. The home of eight US presidents, Virginia also has many historic estates such as George Washington's Mount Vernon and Thomas Jefferson's Monticello.
Virginia is also becoming a major wine destination. With more than 190 wineries statewide, Virginia was recently named one of the top five up-and-coming wine regions in the world by Travel and Leisure Magazine.
According to the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries of the United States' Department of Commerce, the number of Chinese tourists entering the United States in 2010 was 810,738, up 53 per cent compared to 2009.
Apart from launching the Chinese website during his visit to Beijing, McDonnell also signed a four-year collaborative agreement on behalf of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts with the Palace Museum of China.
The agreement will establish a four-year art exchange program beginning in 2014.
Under the agreement, an exhibition of art works from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts will be held at the Palace Museum, which is the first from a US museum to be held at the Palace Museum. An art collection of some 200 pieces from the Palace Museum will also be displayed at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

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