Airline looks to China business - East Valley Tribune: Business

Airline looks to China business

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Posted: Thursday, July 17, 2003 6:24 am | Updated: 1:58 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

You can’t fly from China to Mexico, and people in China couldn’t vacation in Acapulco even if there were a flight.

But Aeromexico is poised to snag tourists from Shanghai as soon as the Chinese government gives the OK for them to leave the country, no matter how circuitous a route it takes to get there.

The airline has hired a Scottsdale company to make it happen.

Discover the World Marketing plans to hawk Mexico and Aeromexico, the country’s largest airline, to future Chinese tourists and current Chinese business leaders.

"The Chinese government has until recently been very restrictive on travel outside China," said Richard Dosh, director of sales and services for Discover the World. "They allowed travel for business purposes only."

The government has been easing up, however, he said, granting some countries "approved destination status, " which means Chinese people can vacation as well as do business there, Dosh said. So far, only Asian countries and a few in Europe have been so dubbed.

Although the United States, Canada and Mexico haven’t gotten the nod yet, Aeromexico wants to be ready to shuttle Chinese with a pent-up desire to see the West as soon as the government gives the go-ahead.

"The China market represents future growth opportunities for us," Flor Gomez, Aeromexico’s director of international market sales, said in a statement.

"We want to be established in China in anticipation of the opportunity it offers."

In the meantime, Discover the World will be trying to convince Chinese companies that Mexico is a great place to do business. And that Aeromexico is the best way to get there.

China is an emerging market full of would-be leisure travelers, Dosh said, and he hopes business people who see the country will find excuses to come back with the family.

"China has been confined for so long. Now capitalism is on the upswing. They have TV. And the people want to get out and see different things," he said.

In 2001, 12.1 million Chinese citizens traveled outside the country, nearly 16 percent more than a year earlier.

The sars illness has hampered travel inbound to China but not outbound, Dosh said.

Now that scare has all but diminished anyway, he said.

The Scottsdale company already represents Aeromexico in 22 other countries, and represents a British airline and Hyatt International hotels in China.

Discover the World has 82 offices in 52 countries ranging from Pakistan to

Peru.

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