LA to play host to travel summit

Updated: 2015-09-07 11:28

By Amy He in New York(China Daily USA)

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The official tourism boards for China and the US will meet next week in Los Angeles to discuss increasing travel between the two countries.

About 200 US and China travel-industry leaders will convene from Sept 9-11 for the ninth annual US-China Leadership Summit, the first time Brand USA, the official tourism marketing organization for the US, will be leading the summit. California receives the lions' share of Chinese tourists to the US, and Visit California and the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board are sponsoring this year's program. The summit alternates between a US city and a Chinese city. The 2014 session was held in Xiamen, China.

"This will bring the leadership in the public and private sectors of the United States with our counterparts in China," Christopher Thompson, president and CEO of Brand USA, told China Daily. "It's the one time a year to be able to talk about bilateral tourism development and marketing. It's truly intended to be a discussion about what can be done, the tourism landscape, and what's needed to support more US citizens going to China and Chinese traveling to the United States."

This will be the first tourism summit attended by Li Jinzao, chairman of the China National Tourism Administration, and Thompson said that a main goal is to help him understand how the US-China tourism relationship has evolved over the last eight years since the summit began.

"His background is a little bit more varied, primarily in economic development, so we want to reinforce with him the importance of the travel industry in both our countries and the relationships that we have and the commitment we have to growing it," Thompson said.

"We enjoyed a great relationship with the former chairman and we think a lot was accomplished and we want to make sure we set the table appropriately."

More than 2 million Chinese visited the US in 2014. making China the US' fourth-largest source for inbound tourism. China is expected to be the No 1 market by 2018, according to Brand USA.