by Tom Isler | December 01, 2006

Mark S. Liberman of LA Inc.


Mark S. Liberman of LA Inc.

After recent visits to Beijing to establish China’s first official tourism office for a foreign city, Mark S. Liberman, president and CEO of LA Inc., The Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau, was moved to note: “The potential of the Chinese market dwarfs every other comparison with which we are familiar.”

Los Angeles, however, is not the first U.S. destination to tap China’s travel market. For the past five years, the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau has employed a representation company in Shanghai to market San Francisco, and in August, the CVB added representation in Beijing.

Las Vegas, in association with the Nevada Commission on Tourism, and Hawaii have arrangements similar to San Francisco’s in place.

Meanwhile, the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau plans to open offices early next year in Tianjin, where Florida International University has built a brand new School of Hos-pitality and Tourism Management. “We’re investing in the future,” said William D. Talbert III, president and CEO of the GMCVB. “We want to be in position, when the bell rings, to reap some benefits.”

Incentive firms and hotel chains, too, are exploring options in China. For details, click here.