PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – City and state official today honored a couple of dozen Chinese visitors who took part in the inaugural “Harley-Davidson Heritage Tour.”

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When life gives you lemons, set up a tour of the lemonade factory.  That’s how Pennsylvania pitched itself as a tourist destination in China, but with the iconic Harley-Davidson motorcycle brand as the lure.

Terese Balzereit, Pennsylvania’s director of international tourism marketing, found that with Harley-Davidson — with a major factory in York, Pa. — expanding in China, the stars were aligned.

“There was a trade show which took place in the beginning of May, so we brought Harley-Davidson motorcycles into the show to make a bigger presence versus the other states — so this gave us a great big push with the media,” she recalls.

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(Philadelphia deputy mayor Alan Greenberger gets a t-shirt from members of the Chinese Harley-Davidson tour.)

Alan Greenberger, Philadelphia’s deputy mayor for planning and economic development, told the group there’s another level, too:

“I know that many of you are in business, and that you know that Philadelphia is also a place that’s very interested in trade, in doing business, and in a much greater participation with you all individually and with China as a country.”

This tour’s 23 participants — 16 on hogs, the rest in a bus — saw Harley headquarters in Milwaukee and the York factory, as well as huge stretches of gorgeous scenery.

A second Harley tour vrooms through in August.

Reported by John Ostapkovich, KYW Newsradio 1060

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