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JCCT Tourism Working Group Agrees to Expand U.S.-China Travel Opportunities

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, January 14, 2010

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JCCT Tourism Working Group Agrees to Expand U.S.-China Travel Opportunities

The Commerce Department and the China National Tourism Administration reached an agreement to a work plan that will further expand market opportunities for American companies in China. The work plan, which will be implemented by the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) Tourism Working Group, builds on a 2007 bilateral agreement to expand travel between the United States and China.

The Department of Commerce forecasts 2010 inbound travel from China to increase 15 percent from 2009 and exceed 800,000 travelers by 2013. Chinese visitors spent nearly $4 billion in the United States in 2008. According to the UN World Tourism Organization, China is the fastest-growing travel market in the world, and is estimated to reach 100 million international travelers by 2020.

Joel Secundy, International Trade Administration’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Services, yesterday signed a two-year work plan for the JCCT Tourism Working Group. A 2007 U.S.-China agreement to promote travel and tourism opened opportunities in these sectors to nine Chinese provinces. Twelve provinces were added to the agreement in November 2009.

“The successful implementation of the agreement, involving 21 provinces of China, which will create new market opportunities for U.S. companies in the travel and tourism sectors, is a key priority for the Obama administration,” Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “Our tourism and travel industry offers innovative, world-class services that can benefit travelers and tourists in China and around the world.”

In 2009, the Commerce Department selected the National Tour Association (NTA) to receive a Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) award. NTA will leverage the Department’s MDCP financial and technical assistance to establish a Visit USA Center in Shanghai. The Center, which is expected to open in April, will disseminate information on travel tour packages, destinations, and tour operators, and will offer a facility for U.S. companies to use when in Shanghai to expand travel and tourism business opportunities.

For additional information, please visit www.trade.gov/mas.