Costa Mesa officials heading to China

COSTA MESA — A three-member delegation from Costa Mesa will travel to Ordos, China, this month to explore the prospect of forming a sister city relationship.

"We're going there to see what the fit is, and they're going to come here to see what the fit is," Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer said Friday.

Righeimer will join Costa Mesa Conference and Visitor Bureau board members Susan O'Brien Moore and Dan Joyce on the trip, which starts Aug. 16.

Righeimer said he will pay his own way. The bureau will cover its board members' travel expenses.

A delegation from Ordos, a city of 1.54 million people in Inner Mongolia, will visit Costa Mesa in the fall. Ordos is in the Dongsheng district, one of China's richest regions with a gross domestic product higher than that of Beijing or Shanghai, bureau officials said in a news release.

More than 400,000 Chinese visited California in 2010, many of them visiting South Coast Plaza, according to the news release.

"This is an exciting opportunity to grow both tourism and business relationships with Costa Mesa and China," Paulette Lombardi-Fries, the bureau's president, said in a prepared statement. "We have the opportunity to establish a close relationship to one of China's fastest-growing and most prosperous cities, which we believe will result in an influx of travelers to our city."

Costa Mesa's current sister city is Wyndham, Australia, near Melbourne.

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