China-U.S. Tourism Program Launched
Beijing recently launched a new program that unites both China and the United States, promoting the two as top travel destinations and boosting the respective economies.
According to China Daily, "An estimated 2 million Americans have visited China annually in recent years. In 2015, 2.5 million Chinese traveled to the U.S. and the number is expected to hit 2.97 million this year. Chinese visitors spent $23.8 billion while in the country in 2014, according to the Commerce Department, accounting for 57 percent of services exports to China. Travel and tourism is the US' largest services export, generating nearly $220.8 billion and supporting more than 1.1 million U.S. jobs, according to the Commerce Department."
Brand USA, a public private partnership with the mission of promoting international travel to the States, will host the ceremony for the annual program. The program is the result of efforts from President Xi Jinping's visit to the United States in September 2015.
The objective of this new partnership is to build on the U.S.' current double-digit growth in arrivals from China, which is forecasted to increase the U.S. share of nearly 100 million Chinese visitors traveling per year.
"Both sides have attributed the key to achieving this goal to the 2014 announcement by the two governments of a reciprocal extension of visa validity for tourist and business travel from 1 to 10 years, and student travel from 1 to 5 years."
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