Fresh air, safety, weather, culture, and good transportation and education are reasons Hawaii is popular with Chinese travelers—whether for vacations, school, or real estate purchases, according to PacRim Marketing Group’s President and CEO Dave Erdman and Siyuan Wang, Editor/Integrated Marketing/China Specialist. Familiar with the Asian International Traveler market, including the emerging influence of Chinese visitors, Dave and Siyuan recently contributed to a University of Hawaii Alumni Magazine article, “The Face of New China; where East Meets West.” In the article, author Tiffany Hill writes about why Chinese millennials are coming to Hawaii and what it can mean to our island economy.
Siyuan knows first-hand. In 2011, she came to Hawaii from Shanghai, where she had graduated from Shanghai Business School with an Associate Degree of Hotel Management (Starwood Contracted Program). “The clean air, warm weather, beauty, and friendly and diverse population attracted me to the islands,” Siyuan said. “Hawaii also is considered a safe destination, and University of Hawaii Manoa’s TIM (Travel Industry Management) program has a good reputation.”
Siyuan attended UH’s TIM school, where she received scholarships and was part of the University of Hawaii Manoa Senior Honors Program and Golden Key Honor Society. While attending college, she was an interpreter for TIM School and a Tourism Bureau from China, which she escorted to the Hawaii Convention Center. She also worked at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel and Island Partners Hawaii in sales and marketing. She joined PacRim Marketing Group initially as a summer intern in 2014, hoping to stay in Hawaii after graduation, knowing it would be difficult because work visas are complicated and hard to obtain. For Chinese university students to remain in the islands, they need to find an OPT (Optional Practical Training) at a company that will sponsor them to work for one year. To remain after that time period, students need to go to graduate school or have a company sponsor them. In 2014, Siyuan achieved her Bachelor of Science degree in Travel Industry Management, graduating with honors—having been named Outstanding Senior in Transportation and Tourism and having made the Dean’s list twice.
“From my graduating class, I am one of the few foreign students who was fortunate enough to get to stay in Hawaii, after PacRim helped me obtain my H1B Visa, which allows me to work in the United States past my OPT program,” Siyuan said.
A match of educational background and the role in the workplace is required of an employer to sponsor a graduate from Asia. “We go out of our way to help them get visas to work with us because we value the multilingual and cross cultural skill set of Asian international graduates, which contributes greatly to our clients’ business success in Asia,” Erdman said. “Siyuan has been instrumental in helping PacRim with client initiatives for marketing to China and Taiwan.”
For more on the University of Hawaii Alumni Magazine article, go to http://www.hidili.com/pacificBasinCommunications/UHAA/Spring2016/#?page=14