San Fran Expands Representation in China

Jamie Wetherbe The San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau (SFCVB), in partnership with San Francisco International Airport (SFO), has opened its second representation office in China, this one in Beijing. Recognizing potential in the outbound Chinese travel market, the SFCVB first retained represe

By: Jamie Wetherbe

The San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau (SFCVB), in partnership with San Francisco International Airport (SFO), has opened its second representation office in China, this one in Beijing. Recognizing potential in the outbound Chinese travel market, the SFCVB first retained representation services in 1999 in Shanghai, making San Francisco the first U.S. city to have representation services in mainland China, officials said.


“Many conventions in San Francisco have a very high percentage of international attendees, particularly in the medical and high-tech fields. This segment presents a great opportunity to expand the delegations that come from China,” said Deborah Reinow, vice president tourism for the SFCVB. “As China has expanded the ease in which its citizens can travel abroad, it appears increasingly likely that the U.S. will receive approved destination status. This will make travel to the United States much easier and provide certification to tour operators to offer outbound tours to the destination. As the restrictions lift, San Francisco will be the natural beneficiary of exponentially increased traffic.”

SFO currently has 21 nonstop flights from China, including United Airlines’ daily nonstop service from Shanghai and Beijing and a nonstop Air China flight from Beijing.

“We are confident that this service will increase over time,” said Kandace Bender, SFO deputy airport director communications and marketing. “The new International terminal, opened in 2000, has 24 international gates with easy domestic connections under one roof. Our airport has garnered a reputation as the preferred gateway to the U.S. due to its facilities and well-known expedited immigration processing.”

China has a population of 1.3 billion people it’s estimated that more than 225 million have the resources to travel internationally in the near term. In 2005, San Francisco received more than 70,000 visitors from China, and officials said that number is expected to have double-digit growth annually over the next few years.
The SFCVB, founded in 1909, is San Francisco’s official visitor promotion agency, working to enhance the city’s economy by promoting and selling San Francisco as a site for conventions and tradeshows and as a destination for pleasure travelers. With more than 1,700 members and an annual budget of $13.6 million, the bureau is one of the largest membership-based tourism promotion agencies in the country and employs a staff of 69.

415-974-6900
www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com

The SFCVB’s offices in China:
Beijing Office
East West Marketing Corporation
Room# 25C, CITIC Building
No 19, Jian Wai Da Jie
Chaoyang District
Beijing, China 100004
86-10-655-65515
sfcvb.sharon@gmail.com

Shanghai Office
East West Marketing Corporation
Fifth Floor, 218 Yu Yuan Road
Jing An District
Shanghai, China 200040
86-21-624-81335
eastwest@online.sh.cn

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