Honolulu, Hawaii—Dave Erdman, President and CEO of PacRim Marketing Group, Inc. and PRTech LLC, applauds President Obama for reaching an agreement to extend the validity of U.S. visas for short-term tourist and business travelers from China. The new plan announced Monday, goes into effect on November 12, 2014, and will extend Chinese student visas from one to five years and business and tourist visas from one to 10 years.
Obama was in Beijing for the annual meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit (APEC), which was last hosted by the U.S. in Hawaii in 2011.
“This agreement between the U.S. and China to extend visas for international travelers between the two countries will provide significant economic impact, fuelling the increasing opportunity and importance for U.S. destinations and individual companies to invest in their China strategies,” Erdman said. “With China being the fastest growing outbound tourism market in the world, our visa policy is critical to maintaining and growing the U.S. as a competitive destination in the global arena.

"Students are often an important driver of tourism and investment with the Chinese market. Students also help with the cultural and social connections with a destination, encouraging friends and family to visit. The edutourism business is very important to the U.S. and to the growth of Hawaii tourism from China."

PacRim Marketing Group and PRTech have been intensifying their marketing and public relations focus on emerging markets, especially the Chinese market, which is experiencing an outbound travel boom. They advise clients and partners wanting to increase share and spend of the Chinese market to use an integrated marketing mix of Chinese language print and online advertorials, blogs, videos, posts, and promotions to help their brands and organizations resonate with Chinese travelers.  This omni-channel approach engages the Chinese visitor throughout their travel journey, prior to, during, and following departure, helping brands increase awareness, foot traffic, and loyalty.  
Erdman points out the uptick in social media use by Chinese travelers.  “Travelers from China are increasingly going online to research locations, using social media like WeChat (Weixin in Chinese) and Sina Weibo or searching websites like www.MyHawaii.cn  to find out about hotels, dining, activities, and shopping prior to their arrival in Hawaii.  We are advising brands to develop their own Chinese language websites as well.”