MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – An international film crew is coming to the coast this weekend to highlight the Grand Strand in a feature film for Chinese Cable Television (CCTV).
The Skywheel, Broadway at the Beach, and other local attractions are attracting international visitors. Throughout the last few years, the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce has seen an increase in travel from Canada and Europe. Now, it has its sights set on the biggest country in the world: China.
"Chinese investors have more money and can afford to explore out of the country," explained Jane Zheng, a realtor with Keller Williams Realty.
Working in real estate, Jane Zheng sees more buyers coming from China to invest in commercial properties on the Grand Strand.
"I think Myrtle Beach is a great place for travelers in China. Unfortunately, not a lot of people know what Myrtle Beach is about," said Zheng.
The Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce is hoping to change that.
"We've got a Chinese film crew from the cable company coming. They'll be in the area starting on Sunday," said Brad Dickerson with the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce.
The film will feature area attractions and will broadcast throughout the nation of China.
"Once the video airs, we'll get an idea of what they're looking for in a destination," explained Dickerson.
It is part of an ongoing international marketing effort
"The Chinese market is a new market for us. The Brand USA efforts have helped us build upon what we've done in the past," said Danna Lilly with the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce.
As it becomes easier for Chinese to travel, the U.S. is quickly becoming a number one destination.
"The international visitor tends to come for longer periods of time and they stay for a few days in different locations," said Lilly while explaining the chamber is pairing up with other regional cities to appeal to an international clientele.
The interest in the Myrtle Beach area started during the World Amateur Golf Tournament.
"They had some players coming over here. They saw the need for golf in china becoming much bigger and there is such a huge population of golfers looking for a new venue," said Lilly.
Interest in golf is on an upswing in China, including investors looking at our coast to invest in the courses. In fact, Zheng has already sold a few Grand Strand courses to Chinese families.
"After they take over they usually have the same crew to manage the course. But they have more money to make the golf course look better. And they're going to bring more Chinese golfers and tourists to this area," said Zheng.
The Chamber of Commerce hopes to capitalize on being the Golf Capital.
"We start with golf in mind and build on our other natural resources to attract not only the golfer but their families, as well," said Lilly.
The Chamber of Commerce points out international visitors spend more time and money when they travel.