February 8 - 10, 2011; San Francisco and Napa Valley, California
Contact: Barbara Cooley, Washington Foreign Press Center
Telephone: 202-504-6352; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Washington Foreign Press Center led a domestic foreign media tour of 12 journalists from China, Hong Kong, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates, to San Francisco and Napa Valley, CA, to explore the impact tourism has on the California economy. The program started with a tele-press conference call with the State Department Chief of Public Inquires on Visa Waiver Initiative programs. The group then met with the San Francisco International Airport TSA and Customs & Border Protection officials who spoke on security, tourism and International Visitors to the U.S. The President and CEO of San Francisco Travel Association gave an overview on the importance of tourism at the national, regional and local levels. Several speakers discussed the revitalization of the Waterfront & the SF Ports. The journalists also met with a University of San Francisco School of Hospitality Industry Business & Management professor to learn about training programs for the hospitality profession. In Napa Valley, the group attended meetings with local experts speaking on the impact of the winery industry on tourism and the local economy. Jill Techel, Mayor of the City of Napa, gave an overview of a local flood control project that is revitalizing the Napa area. The reporting tour ended with an review of Napa history by local historian George Weber.