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Chinese group tours to US will begin in June
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Chinese citizens will be allowed to visit the United States in tour groups from June 17, after the two governments reached an agreement today.

Travel agencies in Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Guangdong can organize group tours to the United States from June 17, according to the joint agreement signed by the China National Tourism Administration and the US Department of Commerce.

Chinese citizens with a registered permanent residence from one of the above locations will be able to join a group tour.

"We are happy to see exchanges expand between China and the United States," said Shao Qiwei, head of the administration.

More than 90 countries so far have been listed as destinations for Chinese travelers, according to the administration.

China had 1.9 million visits from the US last year, up 11 percent from 2006. The US had become the first overseas stop among 710,000 visits from China last year, an increase of 12 percent from 2006.

The US has become China's fourth biggest source of tourists.

(Shanghai Daily May 25, 2008)

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