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NTA Developing Program to Facilitate Chinese Leisure Group Visitation

December 11, 2007

NTA Developing Program to Facilitate Chinese Leisure Group Visitation
Dec. 11, 2007 – The Department of Commerce announced today that a memorandum of understanding has been signed between the United States and China that will bring Chinese leisure travelers to the United States and permit U.S. destinations to market themselves in China.

As part of the agreement, U.S. companies can now do business with Chinese travel companies to organize and market travel packages for group leisure travel to the United States. The National Tour Association has submitted a proposal to the Department of Commerce that would create a program to ensure that U.S. tour operators provide quality experiences for Chinese group visitors.

"NTA is well positioned to assist U.S. travel companies in arranging Chinese leisure group travel and is ready to work with industry professionals in both countries," said NTA Chairman and CEO Bob Hoelscher, CTP. "NTA’s Immediate Past Chair Randy Julian and Director of Government and Industry Relations Matt Grayson began working with Commerce last year. This is certainly an exciting time for the travel industry and potentially for NTA members interested in marketing to the inbound Chinese traveler."

Previously, Chinese regulations prevented companies from organizing and marketing packaged tours for leisure purposes to countries that did not have Approved Destination Status agreements.

"According to the UN World Tourism Organization, China is the fastest growing travel market in the world. This agreement will enable the United States to be competitive in the global marketplace and welcome new visitors to our great country," said NTA President Lisa Simon, CTP.

The DOC predicts 579,000 Chinese travelers will come to the United States by 2011.

The National Tour Association has a global membership of tourism professionals involved in the growth and development of the packaged travel industry. Its membership includes 600 tour operator companies – group, independent, inbound and outbound – and the destinations and suppliers that partner with them. The association is committed to providing business results and information to its members, while offering a collaborative, caring environment in which to build relationships. For more information, please visit

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