The National Tour Association (NTA) and the Travel Industry Association hosted a welcome event June 19, 2008, marking the inaugural tour of Chinese group leisure travelers to the United States.
More than 260 Chinese travelers were in attendance, along with U.S. and Chinese government and industry leaders. Guests included China National Tourism Administration Chairman Shao Qiwei, U.S. Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China Clark Randt, U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez, Travel Industry Association President and CEO Roger Dow, National Tour Association Chairman and CEO Bob Hoelscher, CTP, and NTA President Lisa Simon, CTP.
“NTA is proud to join with TIA in hosting this monumental event as the U.S. opens its doors to these new international leisure visitors,” said NTA Chairman and CEO Bob Hoelscher, CTP. “NTA tour operators participating in the China Inbound Program are ready to assist Chinese travel agents, and the initial NTA list included more than 90 U.S.-based tour operators.”
Following this inaugural event, six different groups of Chinese travelers will now tour Washington, D.C., and New York before traveling to Los Angeles, Hawaii, and San Francisco.
“This welcome event marks the beginning of a great time for the U.S.,” said NTA President Lisa Simon, CTP. “We have the opportunity to boost the U.S. economy and project a welcoming image to these visitors. NTA hopes each of these travelers will go back to China with an incredible travel experience and plan to return to the United States often.”
Simon added that “NTA is the industry partner that has enabled the Memorandum of Understanding to be facilitated by implementing the list of tour operators approved to work with Chinese travel agents.”