Largest US tourism show sends 'get well' wishes to China

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, February 18, 2020
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At the three-day Los Angeles Travel and Adventure Show, which concluded on Sunday, attendees sent a unique "get well Valentine" to China, where people are fighting a novel coronavirus epidemic.

Stretched between two posts was a 1.5-square-meter swath of fabric, on which dozens of attendees of different nationalities and all walks of life had written their sincere "get well" wishes in brightly colored ink to the people of Wuhan and China.

The quotes were touching and heartfelt. One tribute scrawled near the top of the banner read, "Thank you, dear China, for all your sacrifices to contain this outbreak! Get better soon!"

At what is the largest travel and tourism conference in the United States, Mary from Los Angeles wrote, "Sending you warm thoughts for healing and comfort!" while another attendee wrote simply, "California is with you!"

Standing in front of the white banner, Corine from Los Angeles told Xinhua, "I had a friend who took a tour to China last year and she loved it. So, I want to go too and see the Great Wall and everything. It breaks my heart what is happening in China now."

David Foster, another attendee, said China is "doing what needs to be done to protect the rest of the world, and that's a good thing."

"People are concerned about the coronavirus and some have canceled their visits to China," Wu Ning, director of China's National Tourist Office in Los Angeles, told Xinhua. "But they wish for China to recover quickly so they can go to China later this year."

When asked if they would visit China, most U.S. visitors to China's tourism booth at the expo said yes. Others said they planned on visiting China, but might wait until next year.

Indeed, not everyone is unduly concerned about the virus. Brad, from the California city of Ontario, told Xinhua, "I think the panic is way out of proportion to the number of deaths, and that's fueled by the media to sell more papers."

Ralph Lipman, an L.A. native who plans to visit China, said he is "not really concerned about the coronavirus, since it's less lethal than the flu. There were so many more deaths from the regular flu in the U.S. last year."

"I think the Chinese are doing a good job at containing the coronavirus," said Sarah from the University of Southern California. "As bad as this all is, the silver lining is that it will bring attention to the need for better regulations and hygiene."

"The Chinese people are warm, friendly people, just like Americans. It's more natural for us to be friends. China, we stand with you!" Roger Edwards said.

Pasadena City Council Member John J. Kennedy, who visited China in January during the outbreak's early stages, told Xinhua: "We are one world community and if our brothers and sister in China hurt, then we hurt."

"We have an opportunity to show that unity now and demonstrate our concern in a very tangible way," he added. 

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