TEXT OF INTERVIEW
Doug Krizner: On the other side of U.S.-China trade, New York City struck a deal with the Chinese government to promote the Big Apple as a trade destination for Chinese tourists. Our China correspondent Scott Tong joins us. Scott what’s at work here?
Scott Tong: What New York City is trying to cash in on is this statistic: The U.S. Embassy in China estimates that every Chinese tourist who goes overseas for vacation spends $1,000 to $1,500 per day. By one estimate there are 150 million middle-class Chinese now.
Krizner: So they have the disposable income right?
Tong: They have the disposable income, they go on vacation, they have iPods, their kids have Nikes and they want to go somewhere new, and that number’s just gonna take off. And New York City and a lot of other destinations are after this dollar.
Krizner: So New York City had to pursue this on its own because China does not have or has not awarded approved destination status to the U.S. as a whole is that right?
Tong: That right. Different countries are considered “approved” for tourism destinations and Chinese tour groups can then go to those countries. United States doesn’t have that designation yet so New York City is joining other jurisdictions like Hawaii and the state of Nevada going it on its own, trying to get the Chinese tourism dollar.
Krizner: But it doesn’t preclude them from traveling anywhere else does it?
Tong: Right it does not, no. It’s a matter of them putting up posters, getting travel agents in China to say, ‘You want to go to America? You want to go to New York City?’
Krizner: Our correspondent in Shanghai, Scott Tong. Thanks very much.
Tong: Alright Doug, thanks.
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