SALEM, OR – As America’s National Park System gears up to celebrate its Centennial Anniversary, Crater Lake, Oregon’s National Park gem, joined with Wuyishan National Scenic Area (a UNESCO World Heritage Site in China) in a Sister Park Agreement.
Earlier today, representatives from Travel Oregon and the Crater Lake National Park Trust joined officials in China to sign the agreement.
Teresa O’Neill, Vice President of Global Sales for Travel Oregon; Craig Ackerman, Superintendent of Crater Lake National Park; and Carolyn Hill, Executive Director of Crater Lake National Park Trust and CEO of Travel Southern Oregon were present for the signing.
“This agreement is not only historic, but it’s also incredibly important for Oregon’s economy,” said O’Neill. “China is a lucrative market for tourism in Oregon. In 2014 it became the state’s No. 1 overseas travel market and continues to grow exponentially. This agreement highlights the 2016 Centennial celebration of the National Park System by showcasing Crater Lake to potential Chinese travelers during the China-USA Year of Tourism.”
In 2014, Oregon welcomed approximately 62,000 Chinese visitors, who contributed more than $48 million into the state’s economy. As of the third quarter in 2015, Oregon had at least 107,000 Chinese visitors, a 25 percent increase over the same time period in 2014.
“This agreement has been by the strength of the long-standing friendship and spirit of cooperation between the people of the Fujian province and the state of Oregon,” said Ackerman. “Both areas will work together to share our knowledge, skills and expertise to help protect, preserve and make available for our peoples these places where magnificent scenery, diverse resources and rich history transcend international borders.”
Crater Lake had 614,712 visits in 2015, its highest count in the last 25 years, which was a 14.7 percent increase from 2014. Wuyishan Mountain National Park receives 10.5 million visitors a year.
“The economic and cultural advantages of this relationship are immeasurable,” said Hill. “We have an opportunity to build a bridge that allows scientists, students, visitors and nations to learn and share together.”