According to the same market report by Visit California, in 2010 shopping ranked as the top activity among visitors from mainland China — ahead of dining and urban sightseeing, which were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 — and outpaced shopping done by visitors from other countries, who also ranked shopping as their top activity here.
Richard M. Swanson Jr., the Irvine-based regional director of the U.S. Department of Commerce, a zone that covers California, Nevada and Hawaii, was among a group of dignitaries who attended the ceremony.
"Shopping is linked to tourism," he said, referring to how vital Chinese tourists are to that sector. "Tourism is linked to trade and trade is linked to both importing and exporting products and services — and that means economic development in both countries .... What we would like to see in the future is the same type of foreign direct investment that the Koreans and the Japanese have, [which is] reflected here in California."