NTA members interested in the ever-growing Chinese inbound market received key information during “China Market Insights,” NTA’s Webinar 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.
NTA was recently honored for its work with the Chinese market by the US Department of Commerce and US Commercial Service, which awarded NTA a Certificate of Appreciation for Achievement in Trade for “exceptional contributions to US travel and tourism exports in the China market.” NTA officials received the award during the association’s annual Convention, held during December in Las Vegas.
In November 2010, the association opened its NTA Visit USA Center in Shanghai to promote travel to the US by educating both the US and Chinese trade about quality product and best practices, and by linking them with registered tour operators in the United States.
In presenting the award, Isabel Hill, Acting Director of the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, cited NTA’s “courage and creativity” in developing its China Inbound Program.
Accepting the award on behalf of NTA were Cathy Greteman, then Chairman of the NTA Board of Directors, and Lisa Simon, President.
“China is an incredible growth market for the United States, and NTA is proud of our work to help increase exports through international inbound travel to the US,” Simon said, “We so appreciate of the support of Commercial Service, OTTI, and the Department of Commerce, as well as those NTA tour operators who are facilitating the leisure group market as part of the MOU between the US and China.”