District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray's 10-day trade mission to China is underway with a series of events in Beijing.
On Thursday, Gray was scheduled to participate in the World Tourism Cities Federation summit. He'll be encouraging organizers to select the District as its host city for next year's meeting. WTCF promotes the tourism industry in more than 100 member cities.
The mayor also plans to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the District's sister city relationship with Beijing, the Chinese capital.
On the mayor's last trip to China, the District government opened its first international office, in Shanghai. The city will open a new office in Beijing during this visit. The offices are meant to promote business relationships between China and the District.