China and US hope for tourism boom

Updated: Jun 5, 2024 By Yang Feiyue China Daily Print
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The live show Song of Everlasting Sorrow portraying a royal love affair is among the attractions that impress US attendees of the 14th China-US Tourism Leadership Summit in Xi'an, Shaanxi province. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Both countries optimistic for more inbound travelers on back of bilateral cooperation, face-to-face exchanges, Yang Feiyue reports.

Vincenzo Perretta, CEO of Volatour, a travel agency based in New York, is looking forward to the implementation of more favorable tourism policies, he said during a recent trip to Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi province.

"The rate of visitors from China to the United States is quite low, partly because we don't have enough flights. So there is not enough airlift to sustain high volumes," Perretta said at the recent 14th China-US Tourism Leadership Summit held in the city.

"But there is definitely potential for both countries to generate more business," he adds.

Perretta has visited China many times.

"I love China and I think that it is a great place for Americans to discover," he says, adding that many Americans have a very different concept of what China is today and he would love to bring more people to explore what the country has to offer.

"You guys did a good job in welcoming us. The food and beverage arrangements were fantastic. The transportation and all the services were great. It's really unbelievable," Perretta says about his experiences at the summit in Xi'an.

"What we saw in Xi'an was amazing. I visited the city 20 years ago to see the Terracotta Warriors and it was nice to see that again," he says.

His company signed a cooperation agreement with the government of Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong province, during the summit.

"We will help to promote each other's countries and build up what is needed and what is missing," he says.

Perretta's wishes might be answered as government officials and tourism players have proposed the facilitation of travel at the summit where 400 industry representatives discussed boosting bilateral tourism cooperation and people-to-people exchanges between the world's two biggest economies.

They expressed high expectations for concrete actions to improve the visa application process and access to tour information, as well as transport and payment to remove tourism barriers between the two countries.

"The Chinese government has taken various measures to improve conveniences for inbound tourists such as using payment procedures, simplifying the visa process and optimizing the service environment for international tourists," says Gu Huimin, a tourism science professor from the Beijing International Studies University, during a forum focusing on facilitating inbound travel and diversifying experiences.

"In addition, China is actively working on an inbound tourism promotion plan, both the government and companies are working together to provide international guests with more convenience to show how beautiful China is," Gu adds.

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