NTA Announces Changes to China Inbound Program Requirements to Support Visitor Experience
July 13, 2009
NTA has announced new criteria for participation in its China Inbound Program. With the China National Tourism Administration and the U.S. Department of Commerce, NTA issued these changes in order to ensure Chinese group leisure travelers to the United States have a safe and quality vacation experience.
"As the Chinese group leisure travel market continues to grow in the United States, NTA and its partners felt it was important to take next steps in improving the visitor experience," said NTA President Lisa Simon, CTP. "CNTA and the Department of Commerce are in full support of the new criteria and NTA is proud to be the only U.S. organization working in an official capacity with this market as part of the MOU."
Among the new criteria, participants are required to use suppliers and contractors that are sufficiently licensed and who maintain up-to-date registration and insurance in compliance with applicable laws. Companies also must review crash data, safety ratings and safety records of motorcoach subcontractors and make sure they are properly licensed in the state of operation. In addition, a special rule was added regarding shopping opportunities. Any shopping activities must be done without coercion at reputable shopping facilities with quality products.
To remain an approved operator with the China Inbound Program, all participating companies must reapply to affirm that it meets these new criteria.
NTA also has developed a document outlining Best Practices for working with the China inbound market. Although these best practices are not a part of the criteria to be an approved operator, these areas have been identified as important business practices in this market. These recommended practices include details in six areas of activity – tour operator and supplier qualifications; itineraries and visitor experience; tour pricing and tour advertising; payment, refunds and deposits; crisis management; and continuing education.
NTA has been recognized for its China Inbound Program. During the fifth annual Chinese Outbound Travel and Tourism Market earlier this year, NTA was recognized by the Chinese Outbound Travel Research Institute with a bronze award for promoting service quality for inbound travel to the United States. At the show in Beijing, NTA Government and Industry Relations Director Matt Grayson accepted the award and he presented at one of COTTM’s educational sessions. Additionally, NTA and eight of its members had access to the more than 4,000 Chinese professionals in attendance through the U.S. pavilion that NTA developed for the show. NTA will have a pavilion at the 2010 event, April 28-30, as well.
The National Tour Association is the preferred association in the tourism industry for packaged travel professionals. NTA strives to provide value for its members by advancing the packaged travel industry through its advocacy efforts and progressive leadership. Connecting its members through business development, government relations, professional development and research, NTA has remained committed to serving its members with integrity and quality service since its founding in 1951. Today, the NTA membership represents 40 countries, and includes tour and travel packagers of all types. To learn more about the most important destination for packaged travel professionals, please visit http://www.NTAonline.com/.
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