Indian dancers to perform in China

Officials traveling to China today to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Nevada Commission on Tourism’s office in Beijing will bring with them a piece of the Silver State’s history and culture.

Sherry Rupert, director of the Nevada Indian Commission, will join the delegation, led by Lt. Gov. Brian K. Krolicki through July 12. In China, the group will meet with government and tourism industry leaders and reaffirm Nevada’s commitment to China. Highlights of the trip include commemorative re-signings of memorandums of understanding with provincial and state tourism departments and business meetings with airlines, tour operators and travel agents to continue to promote Nevada as a business and leisure destination.

Rupert’s husband, Ben, and son John will perform traditional Native American dances for conventions in Beijing, Chengdu and Guangzhou. Sherry will dress in traditional regalia and narrate the dances.

“It’s going to be really great,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to it.”

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, China ranks seventh in number of visitors to the U.S. and sixth in amount of money spent while they’re here, averaging $6,000 per person, per trip.

Since 2006, when visitation statistics on Chinese travelers began, Nevada has seen a 300 percent increase of Chinese visitors to the state. In 2006, Las Vegas recorded 87,000 visitors from China. By 2012, the most recent complete year of data, that number had grown to 263,000. The number continues to grow, posting a 39 percent increase from 2011 to 2012, according to the Nevada Commission on Tourism.

Rupert, who also serves as president of the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association and sits on the U.S. Department of Commerce Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, said she will be interested in sharing Native American culture and exploring tourism opportunities.

“We see it’s an emerging market for the United States,” Rupert said. “It would be great to see the interest in Indian Country.”


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