The NTA was awarded the top prize for the 2012 Chinese Tourists Welcoming Award, winning gold in the Overall Performance category. The CTW Award, organized by the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute, was presented in Beijing during the China Outbound Travel & Tourism Market.
"Winning this award demonstrates the importance of the United States as a destination for Chinese travelers," said Lisa Simon, NTA president. "We've been honored to represent the U.S. in the China market, promoting the diverse destinations, attractions and tour operator products."
Last May, NTA won the Gold Award in the "My Dream Destination" competition at the World Travel Fair in Shanghai, where attendees cast votes for the country that presented the most desirable destination. And at the NTA Convention in December, NTA was honored for its work with the Chinese market by the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Commercial Service, which awarded NTA a Certificate of Appreciation for Achievement in Trade for "exceptional contributions to U.S. travel and tourism exports in the China market."
The association opened its NTA Visit USA Center in November 2010 to promote travel to the Unites States by educating both the U.S. and Chinese trade about high-quality product and best practices, and by linking them with registered tour operators in the United States.
Finishing second to NTA in Overall Performance was Avis Car Rental (U.S.), and third was Value Retail (U.K.). Award winners in all categories represented nine different countries.
NTA has also briefed members on the growing Chinese inbound market including webinars presented by Scott Johnson of Travel Market Insights and Dr. Robert Li of the University of South Carolina.
"Chinese inbound tourism is currently the fastest growing market, bringing 1.1 million visitors to the United States in 2011," said Johnson, who produces the China Travel Trade Barometer. "China currently is the ninth-leading inbound country, and it's projected to be third by 2016."
Johnson and Li said the Chinese market is trending toward more product diversity and niche markets, and Chinese visitors are arriving with higher expectations of Chinese language and services awareness. They advised NTA members to increase education efforts, strengthen their online presence and focus on offering high-quality experiences.
In November 2010, the association opened its NTA Visit USA Center in Shanghai to promote travel to the U.S. by educating both the U.S. and Chinese trade about quality product and best practices, and by linking them with registered tour operators in the United States.
Formerly the National Tour Association, the NTA includes tour operators, suppliers and destination marketing organizations from more than 40 countries.