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Rhodes to visit China in fifth tourism summit trip

Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes (right) stands shoulder to shoulder with Myrtle Beach Police Chief Warren Gall in the community awareness meeting about the heroin epidemic at the Base Recreation Center in Myrtle Beach on Tuesday , Aug. 16, 2016.
Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes (right) stands shoulder to shoulder with Myrtle Beach Police Chief Warren Gall in the community awareness meeting about the heroin epidemic at the Base Recreation Center in Myrtle Beach on Tuesday , Aug. 16, 2016. jblackmon@thesunnews.com

Mayor John Rhodes is traveling to China on Tuesday for a summit on tourism.

At the 10th annual U.S.-China Tourism Leadership Summit in Yinchuan, Rhodes will be accompanied by Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce President Brad Dean. Rhodes said he’s attended four of the summits in the past, two in China and two in the United States.

Rhodes said he’s been interested in establishing a connection with China because investors from the country show the most interest in the area.

“I sure don’t see investors in America knocking at my door to do things,” Rhodes said. “There are areas of Myrtle Beach we need to redevelop, and we’re looking at who has the money.”

A group of Chinese investors, including the country’s secretary for youth education, also visited Myrtle Beach last week, during which time they toured Coastal Carolina University with Rhodes. He said he’s hoping to establish an educational connection with the country, in addition to encouraging tourism and investment.

“I’m going to carry (to China) the message from Coastal Carolina University, possibly about having exchange programs for students,” Rhodes said.

The investors, he said, were not interested in buying golf courses. Recently, the Black Bear Golf Club in Longs closed as its owner, Grand Strand resident and China native Kang Zou, seeks a new buyer.

Chloe Johnson: 843-626-0381, @_ChloeAJ

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