Nevada will open the first U.S. tourism office in China next month, officials announced Wednesday.
Lt. Gov. Lorraine Hunt will lead a delegation of state tourism and hotel representatives to China to celebrate the opening, which is scheduled for June 11. She called the plan a "big step forward for Nevada."
"It establishes our presence in this country of 1.4 billion people, enables us to build tourism with this highly lucrative market and demonstrates to the Chinese people our state's intense interest in having them visit," Hunt said.
Nevada is the only state in the country to obtain the required certification by the China National Tourism Administration to operate an office, Hunt said.
The Chinese agency usually certifies only national tourism offices. Since the United States does not have one, the state was able to obtain approval.
Nevada is a popular destination for Chinese tourists. Officials there say over 90 percent of the 250,000 people who travel to the United States from China stop in Nevada, primarily Las Vegas.