|Tourism Promotes Friendship and Cooperation|
On Feb. 26, Minister Wu Xi of the Chinese Embassy briefed the media upon the opening ceremony of China-US Tourism Year.
Minister Wu gave a brief introduction of the event: Last September, during President Xi Jinping's State Visit to the U.S., our two Presidents jointly announced 2016 to be a China-US Tourism Year. The opening ceremony would be held on Feb. 29 in Beijing. On March 25, a '1,000 Americans Visiting the Great Wall' program will be launched at Jinsanling of Hebei Province. A program themed 'Beautiful China: Maritime Silk Road' will be held in the U.S., and tourism authorities of the two countries will hold a high-level dialogue in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. The Tourism Year will end by a large number of Chinese tourists visiting the U.S. and a closing ceremony in U.S.. During the Tourism Year, China and the U.S. will work together to offer tourists with more facilitation and services, i.e. encourage tourism agents to developed more targeted products and services and airlines to give more friendly services. In this way, tourism businesses will find more opportunities and tourists will enjoy better quality services with good price. Chinese Embassy will work to promote China-US tourism cooperation and give better services to Chinese tourists visiting the U.S..
Minister Wu highlighted the significance of tourism in China-US relations: traveling is a major way for our two peoples to have exchanges, deepen understanding and friendship. It is also an important area where the two countries can expand trade and economic cooperation. When more and more people are visiting each other, they have a better chance to experience others' natural scenery, history, culture and food and bond with local people. Such friendship will help to reduce misgivings and misunderstanding, enhance mutual understanding and trust, thus contributes to the sound and stable development of China-US relations.
Minister Wu also shared some statistics and gave her best wishes: we see in tourism the development of China-US economic and commercial relations that bring mutual benefit. In recent years, a market brought by US tourists has been growing steadily in China - about 2.1 million visits were paid per year, the largest compared with visits by tourists from other non-regional countries, and accounts for 10% overnight visits by foreign tourists. Meanwhile, more and more Chinese tourists are visiting the U.S.. According to the Dept. of Commerce, Chinese tourists may have paid about 2.56 million visits to the U.S. in 2015, and the number could reach 2.97 million in 2016, ranking 4th compared with tourists from other countries. China-US Tourism year will further boost tourism industries, bring more benefit and job opportunities for both China and the U.S..