LOS ANGELES — Focusing on tourism cooperation and mutually beneficial marketing initiatives, the 9th US-China Leadership Summit, which kicked off on Sept 10, attracted nearly 200 tourism industry leaders from the two countries.
“China is now the world’s fourth-largest tourist destination, the largest source of tourists, and the largest domestic tourism market,” said Li Jinzao, chairman of China National Tourism Administration.
“In 2014, China and US together contributed to 15.4 percent of outbound international tourists and received 11.45 percent of inbound international tourists in the world,” said Li.
The United States has witnessed the rapid growth of Chinese visitors in recent years, said Chris Thompson, president and CEO of Brand USA, a public-private entity for promoting US tourism.
“China is currently the fourth-largest source market for inbound tourism to the United States. Slightly more than 2 million Chinese visited America during 2014. By 2018, we expect China to become our number one long-haul source market.”
The booming of Chinese tourism and the increase in outbound Chinese visitors attracted the expansion of business of US tourism companies in China.
As an important gateway to the United States, Los Angeles is a top travel destination for Chinese visitors.
“Los Angeles has seen five consecutive years of double-digit growth in Chinese visitation, outpacing every other international market and the numbers aren’t even close,” said Ernest Wooden Jr., president and CEO of the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board.
The number of Chinese people traveling to Los Angeles has surged 523 percent in less than a decade. In 2014, Los Angeles saw a 20 percent increase in visitation from China over 2013, welcoming nearly 700,000 Chinese visitors, according to the board.