Now that Yiqian funding has a significant stake in the Grand Strand golf industry and has announced that it expects to bring golfers from mainland China, said Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes Friday, "I think the next step is accommodation."
He said he has nothing specific, but knows representatives of the group are showing properties, and we are asking how high they can build.
"I would say the way of all Americans is that whatever is available," he said.
So will the tourist dollars that China could bring with them. As international travelers, who spend more per capita per trip than any other nationality. Middle and high Chinese travelers spend 19 percent of their annual salary in international travel, and they usually buy luxury goods, while away from home, according to Brand USA, a group that promotes international travel to United States.
Financing Yiqian a Chinese investment company that has purchased eight Strand golf courses in the last six months, has recently generated travel, golf apartments and real estate to support its foray in Myrtle Beach, according Xian 'Nick' Dou, one New York immigration lawyer who has represented the company in sales course.
Nobody knows how big a slice of the Chinese Strand tourism could capture.
"It's too early to say," Rhodes said. "This is a work in progress."
Brad Dean, executive director of the Area Chamber of Commerce Myrtle Beach, said he knows of two ways the area could benefit from Chinese tourists.
"First," he said, "we are a very competitive golf destination, so for those interested in learning Chinese golf or golf, which could well become a destination of choice.
"Similarly, we can be included in a multi-city itinerary for a short trip."
Changes in visa policy of China undoubtedly grease the wheel. Only recently, China has changed the rules for international travelers can get visas to travel to the US with a duration of 10 years.
That means that while probably would go to a gateway city - San Francisco, New York, Boston - on his first trip to the US, later trips could include trips to destinations such as the Grand Strand known less.
"The change in visa processing is likely that communities like ours than the main exit points benefit," Dean said.
He said that the interest of the Chinese to travel to the US increased with developments in recent years by Brand USA and visa extensions.
"Economists estimate that in the next five years, China is poised to be the largest provider of international tourists to the outside of the United States of North America," he said.
But Rhodes believes that the impact would come even sooner if the vendors aimed their shots closer to home.
"We forget Asians living in the United States east of the Mississippi," he said. "We're not going to get your business."
Rhodes suggested that a campaign targeting Mandarin Chinese living in the US could reap great benefits for the Strand.
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