SAN FRANCISCO – China and the United States are highly complementary in tourism resources with each enjoying its own strength of unique cultural diversities, a Chinese tourism official said Thursday.
In a keynote speech to the 2019 US-China Tourism Leadership Summit held in Seattle, Li Yaying, chief of the Chinese tourism delegation to the event, said the two countries are each other’s important source country of tourists and destinations, with Chinese tourists spending a total of more than 30 billion US dollars in the United States in 2018.
The spending of Chinese tourists in the United States last year put China on top of the total expenditures of in-bound travelers to the United States, Li said.
China-US tourism cooperation offers not only business opportunities, but also a chance for the two countries to improve their ties, Li said.
“Tourism serves as a key platform for people from different countries and cultural backgrounds to communicate with each other and develop a better understanding of each other in a natural way of direct people-to-people contact,” she said.
Li said 2018 witnessed a two-way flow of 5 million tourists traveling between China and the United States, and Chinese tourists contributed nearly 100 million dollars to the US economy every day.
She said China will continue support dialogue between tourism officials and professionals from both sides.
China and the United States have been taking turns to host the annual summit since the platform was launched in 2007.
Aimed at boosting meaningful interactions between the two countries, the event has become an important channel for tourism regulators, associations and businesses to strengthen communication.
The last China-US tourism dialogue was held in Hangzhou, eastern China.