China knows chocolate and The Hershey Co.
By next summer, Chinese travelers will be getting to know the American town where it all began.
According to the Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau, inquiries about local accommodations have been on the rise recently in China.
Earlier this year, the bureau announced it would actively engage international markets, something it’s never done before.
Since then, local tourism officials have been working with a Chinese tour operator, China Ocean and Outback Tour, to coordinate multiple-day itineraries connected to Hershey as part of a broader East Coast travel package.
“With Hershey’s chocolate being the recognized brand within this market and the primary location for us marketing the tours being in Hershey’s stores, the tours will focus heavily on the Hershey experience,” the bureau said.
A marketing piece promoting the region was produced late this summer and is now available in two Hershey’s Chocolate World stores in Shanghai, according to the bureau.
Hoteliers, get ready. The wave is coming in 2016. The bureau is currently coordinating with the tour operator on a variety of hotels with tiered pricing.
Aside from Canada, China already is the top international market for consumer spending in Dauphin County, according to Visa credit card consumer reports.
But a little more couldn’t hurt, especially if it boosts hotel tax revenue.
Domestically, the bureau continues to target the Philadelphia and northern New Jersey areas, as well as Nassau-Suffolk, N.Y., and Washington, D.C.