First Chinese Leisure Group Arrives In June

The National Tour Association (NTA) will welcome the arrival of the first Chinese leisure group in June that is a result of an agreement to expand inbound travel to the U.S. by Chinese citizens.

The inaugural tour will be led by China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) Chairman Shao Qiwei June 17 to Washington, D.C. Following the first group, Chinese leisure group travelers will be able to travel to the U.S. only through Chinese travel agents working with U.S. tour operators who are part of NTA's China Inbound Program.

The new agreement is expected to bring a much needed boost to the U.S. economy. By 2011, nearly 600,000 Chinese travelers are expected to travel to the U.S., an increase of 81 percent from 2006. According to the U.S. Commerce Department, Chinese travelers on average spend $6,000 per visit to the U.S. This is more than residents of any other nation.

"NTA is both proud and honored to help the U.S. by playing a key role in the implementation of this MOU, which is a breakthrough bilateral agreement," said NTA President Lisa Simon, CTP.

NTA is the first and only U.S. organization approved by CNTA to facilitate Chinese inbound leisure group travel to the United States. To date, more than 90 tour operators have been approved to work with this new market. For information: