On April 27, a Brand USA film crew captured footage at Five Rivers Delta Resource Center in Spanish Fort for use in a documentary video, part of an effort to increase Chinese tourism to the state.
The on-camera host and contributor, Vic Liang, is originally from Guangzhou, China and now lives in California. Liang and crew collected b-roll footage in Mobile, Birmingham, Hunstville and Montgomery for use in the promotional video, which will include on camera reporting from Five Rivers, the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville as well as the Barber Motorsports Park and Porsche Driving School in Birmingham.
The video is written and produced in Mandarin Chinese, not translated, which Brand USA said provides authenticity and a personal connection. This is the culmination of months of collaboration between Brand USA and the Alabama Tourism Department, research collected from surveys Brand USA collects from international travelers, site location selection and content writing.
According to Brand USA, More than 150,000 Chinese visitors are expected to travel to the Southeast this year.
“A Chinese language video is an important way for us to market Alabama to this booming market, “ Alabama Tourism Department International and Regional Director Grey Brennan said.
In February, The U.S. Department of Commerce and the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) launched a bilateral “U.S.-China Tourism Year” initiative between the two countries.
The initiative was announced at a Brand USA event held in Beijing, China as part of a bilateral initiative between President Obama and President Xi Jinping launched last September.
The Tourism Year is designed to position the United States and China for increased trade in travel services by focusing on three mutually beneficial areas and builds upon the momentum of the 2016-2017 Work Plan of the U.S. – China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade Tourism Working Group, signed by the Department of Commerce and CNTA on Sept. 10, 2015.
Additionally, the Tourism Year leverages the opportunity created by the reciprocal extension of short-term tourist and business visas issued to each other’s citizens from one to 10 years and reciprocal extension of student visa validity from one to five years. Since these announcements, the State Department has seen nearly a 50 percent increase in Chinese applications for U.S. nonimmigrant visas.
According to Brand USA, China is the fourth-largest source market for inbound tourism to the U.S. and Chinese visitors spend on average $6,000 a person per trip, about 30 percent more than other inbound international travelers.
Brand USA was first established after a decade of declining foreign visitors to the U.S. It provides a united voice that actively and intelligently promotes U.S. states, cities, national attractions, retail and other travel industry partners through its worldwide digital channels and consumer-facing brand, VisitTheUSA.com.