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U.S. Travel Applauds Bipartisan Senate Champions of Greater U.S.-China Cooperation on Travel

June 25, 2013 Association No Comments Email Email

The U.S. Travel Association today applauded Senators Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Mark Kirk (R-IL) and 10 other Senators of both parties for their efforts to promote increased United States travel exports to China.

The 12 Senators sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and Secretary of State John Kerry urging them to make travel and tourism a top economic priority at the upcoming U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue scheduled to be held in Washington, D.C., from July 8-12.

“America’s travel community is grateful to the bipartisan ‘Gang of 12’ travel champions for working to ensure that communities across the country reap the benefits of increased visitation from America’s fastest growing inbound travel market,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. “Attracting more international travelers to the United States from Asia will boost economic growth, create jobs and generate new tax revenue.”

International travel to the U.S. from China is projected to grow approximately 20 percent per year for the next several years. Already, Chinese visitors spend more, on average, in the U.S. – over $7,000 per person every trip – than visitors from any other country. In 2011, Chinese visitor spending supported more than 50,000 jobs in communities across the U.S.

In addition to Senators Hirono and Kirk, the letter was signed by Senators Harry Reid (D-NV), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mark Begich (D-AK), Patty Murray (D-WA), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Al Franken (D-MN).

The Senators urged Secretaries Lew and Kerry to work toward improving visa processing times and extending visa validity for Chinese visitors to five years from the current one-year limit and allow for multiple entries. They also advocated for revisions to the U.S.-China agreement on civil air transport to allow for twice as many direct flights between the U.S. and China as are currently allowed and asked both secretaries to negotiate with China on an open skies agreement that would eliminate numerical caps.

Click here to read the Senators’ letter to Secretaries Lew and Kerry.

Click here to learn more about how international travel benefits America.

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