Tourism between China and the United States has seen significant progress in the past decade, an official said at an ongoing tourism forum in northwest China.
The combined number of tourists from China traveling to the United States and vice versa has exceeded 30 million since the two countries launched a high-level tourism dialogue mechanism in 2007, Li Jinzao, head of the China National Tourism Administration, said at the China-U.S. Tourism Leadership Summit in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region on Friday.
Li said the mechanism has enhanced communication and mutual understanding between people of the two countries and boosted economic growth.
China and the United States are important tourism sources for each other. Since Chinese group tours to the United States began in June 2008, tourism industries in both countries have expanded. Last year, about 4.75 million trips were made between China and the United States, with more than 2 million U.S. tourists coming to China. This year's trips between the two countries are expected to exceed 5 million, a record high.
In 2014, Chinese tourists spent about 165 billion U.S. dollars on overseas tourism, ranking first in global tourism spending, according to the World Tourism Organization under the United Nations. The United States was second in the ranking, with about 111 billion dollars spent.