2016 China-US Tourism Year set to promote cooperation

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During President Xi Jinping's visit to the United States, the year of 2016 has been set as the 'China-US Tourism Year'.

Analysts say more facilitation on infrastructure construction, entry and exit policies will bring more benefits to the cooperation on tourism between the two countries.

Sino-US tourism has recorded over 25 million trips between the two nations at an average annual growth of 7.6% since the China-US Tourism Leadership Summit was established in 2007.

The summit includes tourism bureau chiefs from 31 Chinese provinces and 50 American states.

Among that, the number of Chinese tourists travelling to the United States has grown at an annual rate of 18.4 percent.

Shi Peihua, a director with the National Information Center, says the US tourism market meets the new demands of Chinese tourists with their diversified services and products.

"China's tourism market is being upgraded. In the process, the market is growing at fast speed in three aspects. One is for Children. Many people travel abroad with their children and many children will study overseas. The second one is marriage travel and third one is overseas travel as a reward by many companies."

It has become more and more convenient for Chinese people to travel to the United States since the implementation of a ten-year validity visa in 2014.

Over 2 million Chinese people went to America for travel last year, making China the fourth biggest source country travelling to the United States.

Dun Jidong, senior manager of Shanghai-based Ctrip, a Chinese mainland-based travel agency, says this policy will continuously provide strong impetus to the promotion of the tourism markets for these two countries.

"The ten-year validity visa has been implemented for nearly one year. The policy itself is very beneficial for tourism for both countries. And it still has much potential in the future as many people are applying for the U.S. visa for the first time. He or she will cherish the chance to apply for a ten-year validity visa. So they will reuse the visa. Then the cardinal number will become bigger and bigger."

As the year of 2016 has been set as the 'China-US Tourism Year', Shi Peihua says more facilitation on infrastructure construction, as well as entry/exit policies will bring more benefits to the area of cooperation on tourism between the two countries.

"To get sustainable tourist development, the visas of both sides should be facilitated further. Both sides should be more open to each other. Take aviation for example. Can the prices be lower when the air lanes are improved? After all, the costs are so high as of now. What's more, both China and the United States should improve their reception system. And then, China and the United States should increase mutual investment, which will attract people from these two countries to travel overseas".

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