City pays for part of Nutter trip to China with benefit points

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and a 12-member delegation have arrived in China for a trade mission. They’re being creative in funding the trip.

Of the dozen people in the delegation, the expenses for five are being paid for out of city funds, says Nutter spokesman Mark McDonald. But the rooms are being paid for with a hotel version of frequent flier miles.

“The International Visitors Center, which is the unit that runs the city’s sister cities program, has Marriott Hotel rewards points program and we are able to defray some of those costs for the time our group is in Beijing and Tianjin,” McDonald said.

The city accumulated the points when it paid for hotel nights in Philadelphia while hosting visitors to spur economic development.

McDonald says the city expects to spend a total of $8,500 to send five people on the trip.

Representatives of Fox Chase Cancer Center, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Drexel University, among others, are paying their own way.

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