First Sino-US Joint Venture on Business Travel Established in China

China International Travel Service (CITS) and American Express jointly established CITS American Express Travel Services Limited here on Monday, the first Sino-US business travel joint venture in China.

The company will provide business travel management services toclients from multi-national corporations, regional companies and domestic companies throughout the country. Services to be providedby the company include obtaining and handling visas, internationaland domestic flight reservations and ticketing, hotel reservationsand convention services.

"By combining the strength of American Express' global travel management expertise and worldwide support with CITS' extensive local knowledge and operational expertise in the travel business in China, the new company is well positioned to capitalize on the growth potential of the business travel industry in China," said experts with China National Tourism Administration (CNTA).

"We are confident that China's economy will continue its stronggrowth in the coming years following its accession into the World Trade Organization. We estimate that annual business travel in China will reach US$ 4.2 billion, 17 percent of the Asian business travel market," said Tim Johnson, senior vice president and head of the company's Asian Pacific region corporate services.

Li Lu'an, president of CITS head office, said, "Building upon our 50 years of experience in leisure travel within China, the newventure will enable us to expand into corporate travel and furtherdiversify our business."

Cooperation between American Express and CITS goes back more than two decades. A total of 18 CITS offices have been converted into American Express Travel Service representative offices, covering 12 major cities in China.

( People's Daily January 29, 2002)

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