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NTA Receives Dept. of Commerce Award to Develop Visit USA Center in Shanghai

October 28, 2009


Contact:                                                                                 October 28, 2009
Madeline Vied                                                                        For Immediate Release


NTA Receives Dept. of Commerce Award to Develop Visit USA Center in Shanghai

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The National Tour Association has received a Market Development Cooperator Program award to create a Visit USA center, co-located with the United States Commercial Service, in Shanghai, China. The Center will promote group leisure travel to the U.S.

"The Commerce Department is pleased to assist the National Tour Association in its goal to increase tourism receipts from China," said Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Manufacturing and Services Mary Saunders. "In addition to financial assistance, the Department will help coordinate and support project activity, including the establishment of a new Visit USA Center with the Department’s Commercial Service in China."

MDCP awards include financial and technical assistance from the International Trade Administration to support projects that enhance the global competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing and services industries, including inbound travel to the U.S.

"This partnership between NTA and the Department of Commerce will enable American companies and destinations to promote themselves to Chinese travel agents and tour operators," said NTA President Lisa Simon, CTP. "The creation of the Visit USA Center will help NTA facilitate increased group leisure travel to the U.S. as part of its China Inbound Program."

Proposed programs and services that will be available from the Visit USA center include distribution of information on U.S. destinations, development of a Chinese-language Web site to promote leisure group travel, and creation of mini-trade shows and road shows to promote the U.S. as a destination.

An MDCP award establishes a partnership between ITA and non-profit industry groups. NTA competed for a limited number of MDCP award partnerships, and was one of five awardees out of 29 applicants. The project funding begins Jan.1, 2010, and goes through Dec. 31, 2012.

The establishment of the Visit USA center in Shanghai allows NTA to further its work with the U.S. incoming market from China. With its China Inbound Program, NTA facilitates group leisure travel inbound to the U.S. in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding established between the U.S. and Chinese governments in Dec. 2007. NTA maintains the only list of U.S. operators approved to work with Chinese travel agents to facilitate inbound travel.

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 48 countries, and includes tour and travel packagers of all types. To learn more about the most important destination for packaged travel professionals, please visit   

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