Chamber pays for Chinese film crew's trip, expects big return on investment

A film crew with Chinese Cable Television or CCTV is halfway through a shoot on the Grand Strand that will promote the area throughout China later this year.

Local officials say footing the $10,000 to $12,000 bill is a worthwhile investment.

Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce President Brad Dean said he expects the promotional video being shot to have a big economic impact on the Grand Strand.

"Hopefully this will help sell the Myrtle Beach area to Chinese visitors who might be interested in beaches, golf courses or simply finding an undiscovered American gem," explained Dean.

The crew arrived on Sunday and will film area attractions, beaches and golf courses until Wednesday.

The trip is all being paid for by the Chamber and costs somewhere between $10,000 and $12,000, Dean said.

Dean says the area will see a major return on that investment.

"One Chinese tourism group will spend multiple times that, so we think the payoff will be quick, but the real payoff will be long-term if we can position ourselves as an international golf destination," he said.

Dean said an increasing number of the Chinese middle class are visiting the U.S., so he asks why not bring them to Myrtle Beach?

"This could have a huge economic impact as these visitors typically spend five to ten times what a domestic visitor spends and the best part of all, they typically come at the slower times of the year when we need more tourists coming to the Grand Strand," he said.

The promotional video will air in China and on some US-bound Chinese flights in mid to late October. CCTV broadcasts to nearly a billion viewers.

The crew is heading to New York next.