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China and U.S. hope for tourism boom(4)

2024-06-04 08:19:11China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Good outlook

Participants at the summit say they are optimistic for the future, as the two governments have both shown positive attitudes in boosting tourism.

During the event, Chinese State Councilor Shen Yiqin noted that holding this summit is a measure to implement the important consensus reached by the two heads of state at the San Francisco meeting last year, and it will promote the recovery and development of China-U.S. tourism cooperation, taking it to a new level.

China is willing to work with the U.S. to deepen tourism cooperation, expand cultural and people-to-people exchanges, and lead mutual learning among civilizations, Shen says.

Shen adds that China will continue to work with the U.S. to promote exchanges and cooperation in areas such as culture, education, sports and youth, and make positive contributions to the development of healthy, stable and sustainable China-U.S. relations.

China warmly welcomes tourists from all over the world, including American tourists, and will strive to make it easier for foreigners to travel, work and live in China, Shen says.

At the meeting, Grant Harris, U.S. assistant secretary of commerce for Industry and Analysis at the Department of Commerce, says an important factor in achieving the goal of the National Travel and Tourism Strategy proposed by Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo almost two years ago is "the ability of the U.S. travel and tourism industry to attract more Chinese travelers to visit the United States for leisure, business and education purposes".

It sets an overarching goal of attracting 90 million visitors to spend $279 billion annually by 2027, according to Harris.

"Before the pandemic in 2019, the U.S. welcomed nearly 3 million Chinese visitors who spent $33 billion experiencing the country. China was our top overseas market for spending in the United States," he says.

In 2023, 1.1 million Chinese travelers visited the U.S., representing 38 percent of the pre-pandemic level, he adds.

"Restoring Chinese visitation to 2019 levels would support over 50,000 American jobs," he says.

The U.S. anticipates that Chinese visitation will increase 150 percent from 2023 to 2025, 4.7 times faster than the rise in overall overseas visitation to the U.S. during this time, according to Harris.

He stresses that this success cannot be achieved without gatherings like the summit and the continued dedication from both countries to find ways to enhance people-to-people exchanges.

"I know that my team is looking forward to working with you in the years to come. We encourage steps to provide a strong business environment to create opportunities for U.S. companies operating in China," he says.

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