GOSHEN — Elkhart County’s reputation as the epicenter of the recreational vehicle industry has drawn the attention of six Chinese government officials and business leaders who want to visit the area in September.
The Elkhart County Board of Commissioners signed a letter Monday, July 8, inviting the group from China to visit. Aaron Zou, a local businessman with Aaron MacGregor and Associates, has been in touch with the group and said they are particularly interested in the area’s RV production.
“RVs are getting more and more popular in China, and they realize Elkhart is the RV capital of the world, so they expressed a desire to visit,” said Zou, whose company exports RVs internationally.
The group requested a written invitation from the commissioners to make it easier for them to obtain passports for the visit, Zou added.
County commissioner Mike Yoder said another reason why Elkhart County gets so many Chinese visitors is because of the area’s sister city relationship with Jinhua, a city in the province of Zhejiang in eastern China. Zou and county commissioner Terry Rodino traveled for a business trip to China in 2011 to solidify to country’s relationship with Elkhart County.
There are visitors from China in Elkhart County almost every week, Zou said, adding that he is committed to endorsing the county’s strengths in the RV industry.
“If we don’t promote Elkhart, they’ll buy from California or from some other place that makes RVs,” he said.