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China-U.S. Tourism Leadership Summit

NTA represented at recent China events

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posted December 1, 2018

In September at the 2018 China-U.S. Tourism Leadership Summit in Hangzhou, China, NTA President Pam Inman, NTA Board Chair Chris Babb, Vice Chair Paul Larsen and I joined more than 70 United States delegates led by Brand USA President Chris Thompson.

The newly formed Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China hosted the 12th annual event, which was also attended by Sean Stein, consul general of the United States in Shanghai.

More than 200 U.S. and Chinese summit participants—including top-level executives and officials from local governments, destination marketing organizations, associations, tour companies, online travel agents, attractions and transportation companies—gathered at the summit. We discussed best practices in marketing, travel and tourism trends, and issues that impact the industry.

At the summit, Pam was a member of a panel that focused on the importance of a region’s culture in tourism development, and she encouraged tour operators to develop tours that immerse guests in local culture.

The next U.S.-China Tourism Leadership Summit will be held in Seattle next September.

Pam, Chris and I also attended the first-ever conference of the World Tourism Alliance, as well as the opening of the Xiaoshan Liaison Office held in Hangzhou, China. More than 350 members and guests attended the event.

The WTA is dedicated to engaging members, enterprises, governments and the international community in an open dialogue about social progress that benefits humankind. The organization was initiated by Chinese government in 2017.

During her trip to China, Pam also went to Beijing and delivered a speech at Beijing Tourism Global Distribution Partnership Summit. The Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development hosted the event at the Temple of Heaven to explore new mechanisms for global cooperation and new ways to boost Beijing’s inbound tourism market. Pam met with Beijing Vice Mayor Zhang Gong, and they discussed how the city can work with NTA tour operators.

China has been one of NTA’s major focus markets in recent years. According to most recent statistics from the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office, more than 3 million Chinese travelers came to the U.S. in 2017. China is the fifth-largest international inbound market for the U.S. in terms of visitor numbers, and it’s the No. 1 market in terms of travel spending to and within the United States.

For more information on NTA's work with the China market, go to

Lin Wang is the director of NTA’s China market services.

Top photo: During the China-U.S. Tourism Leadership Summit, NTA President Pam Inman was a panelist at the “Culture in Tourism Product Development” seminar.
Photo by Lin Wang