NTA Recognized for Increasing Chinese Travel to U.S.
December 14, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. — The U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Commercial Service, awarded NTA a Certificate of Appreciation for Achievement in Trade for "exceptional contributions to U.S. travel and tourism exports in the China market." NTA officials received the surprise award during the association’s annual Convention, held last week in Las Vegas.
In November 2010, the association opened its NTA Visit USA Center in Shanghai to promote travel to the U.S. by educating both the U.S. and Chinese trade about quality product and best practices, and by linking them with registered tour operators in the United States. NTA established a baseline average of 41,936 travelers participating with China Inbound Program operators during the first two quarters of 2010. The most recent statistics, from the third quarter of 2011, revealed that 161,849 tourists participated—an increase of 286 percent.
In presenting the award, Isabel Hill, acting director of the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, cited NTA’s "courage and creativity" in developing its China Inbound Program. Also on hand to present was Laura Gimenez, U.S. Commercial Service, with the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Accepting the award on behalf of NTA were Cathy Greteman, then chairman of the NTA Board of Directors, and Lisa Simon, president.
"China is an incredible growth market for the United States, and NTA is proud of our work to help increase exports through international inbound travel to the U.S.," Simon said. "We so appreciate the support of Commercial Service, OTTI and the Department of Commerce, as well as those NTA tour operators who are facilitating the leisure group market as part of the MOU between the U.S. and China."