CHINA (KHNL) -- On the world's biggest stage, China has taken a starring role.
Its Olympic effort could turn into a big win for years to come. But this interest in China could also benefit Hawaii.
The Olympics have been filled with memorable moments for fans and golden achievements for athletes. But a Hawaii expert at the East West Center says the summer games have also been golden for China.
"This is China's coming out party. It is very important milestone in China's development," said Dr. Christopher McNally.
Over $40 billion was spent to showcase technological achievements and wow the world with its success as a modern superpower. But through these Olympics, many have also seen a side of China never seen before. A welcoming side from this formerly closed-minded communist nation.
"The game is important but even more important is the hospitality to the athletes and a friendly face, more important than a big game and all the fireworks," said former Shanghai resident, Shen Yingshuo.
The summer games are not only showing off a strong athletic country but a visitor friendly one.
"Now I have a much better view of what China is like and that it is open to visitors than it previously was," said Robbie Coy, of Manoa.
While China could cash in with increased tourism, these summer games could also turn into a win for Hawaii. If the largely untapped Chinese population is targeted for a vacation in paradise.
"It will show those in Hawaii's tourism sector how important China could be for tourists," said McNally.
Giving many struggling island businesses something to cheer about, even after the games are over.