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Film to pitch US parks to China tourists

By Amy He in New York | China Daily USA | Updated: 2016-02-10 14:16

The US tourism bureau will be releasing a new documentary in China on America's national parks with the hope that Chinese travelers will visit the natural attractions beyond trips to gateway cities like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

 Film to pitch US parks to China tourists

Yosemite National Park in California. A new documentary called National Parks Adventure will be released in the US, China and elsewhere to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. Provided to China Daily

The film, National Parks Adventure, will premiere in New York on Feb 12 before it is shown around the globe. There is no specifi c release date, but Brand USA said it will come out sometime this spring at theaters in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Theaters will show the movie in IMAX 3D and 2D format, and it will stay in theaters from three months to a year.

National Parks Adventure will be shown at the American Museum of Natural History until Sept 1. It was produced by Brand USA and sponsored by online travel company Expedia and auto manufacturer Subaru of America. The film was directed by Greg MacGillivray.

"China is our most important emerging market for all the reasons that we all know, and so it was absolutely part of our plan" to release the movie in China, said Tom Garzilli, senior vice-president of global partnerships at Brand USA, the US tourism bureau established in 2011 by the Travel Promotion Act to market and promote the US as a destination.

"For people who have never been to the US, they know the US maybe from the few icons - from New York or Las Vegas or Orlando because of Disney - and this is another way to tell that story and to introduce the country to people who don't really know the US," he told China Daily after the film was screened for the media.

The documentary showcases more than 30 national parks and follows an American mountaineer as he explores some of the country's most famous parks. Actor Robert Redford narrates the film.

Brand USA wants to take advantage of the extension of tourist visas between the US and China from one year to 10 years, which gives the visitors more time to explore different parts of the country.

"We want to get the Chinese to realize there's so much more to the country. It's not as much to say, 'Oh I have to climb Devil's Tower' - and I'm not sure how many people really get that urge - but, 'I'd love to see it, and boy if there are places like that, there must be so much beauty, it must be so lush,' " he said.

"We know no matter where they come, they��re going to come through a gateway, whether it��s San Francisco or New York or Chicago, and that near there is going to be a natural experience. Whether it's a national park or a state park or a local one, it's mostly to tell the story that the country is more diverse than they may know," Garzilli said.

In 2014, about 2.2 million Chinese visited the US, an increase of 21 percent over the previous year. China became the sixth-largest origin market of tourists visiting the US when just five years prior it wasn't in the top 10, according to fi gures released by the International Trade Administration.

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