US Con­sulate seeks to in­spire wan­der­lust in Chi­nese trav­el­ers

China Daily (USA) - - SHANGHAI - By CHINA DAILY Con­tact the writer at heqi@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

The US Con­sulate in Shang­hai has re-out­fit­ted its wait­ing room with pho­tos of many nat­u­ral won­ders in the United States to woo Chi­nese trav­el­ers.

The project is a joint ef­fort with Brand USA, an or­ga­ni­za­tion ded­i­cated to mar­ket­ing the US as a premier travel des­ti­na­tion, and is aimed at pro­mot­ing off-the-beaten-path des­ti­na­tions as well as em­pha­siz­ing the im­por­tance of Chi­nese tourism in the US, ac­cord­ing to Con­sular Chief Bill Weiss­man, who presided over the rib­bon cut­ting for the project’s com­ple­tion on Sept 7.

US Con­sul Gen­eral in Shang­hai Sean Stein pointed out that an in­creas­ing num­ber of US tourists are vis­it­ing re­gions in China such as Yun­nan, Hei­longjiang, Ti­bet in­stead of just the ma­jor cities, and that he would like for Chi­nese tourists to do the same.

“What we hope is that when peo­ple come through the room, they’ll look at the poster on the side and de­cide to go be­yond usual des­ti­na­tions like San Fran­cisco or New York to see the many other amaz­ing things in the US, such as vis­it­ing Utah, the Grand Canyon, and other small towns,” said Stein.

“As more and more Chi­nese trav­el­ers go to the US to ex­pe­ri­ence America, they are help­ing the US econ­omy and sup­port­ing many good US jobs.”

The re­dec­o­ra­tion of the US Con­sular Sec­tion’s queu­ing area aims to not only en­sure that each visa ap­pli­cant has as pos­i­tive an ex­pe­ri­ence as pos­si­ble when they ap­ply for a US visa, but also to pro­mote a new brand of in­de­pen­dent travel to the US that is quickly on the rise, he added.

China has be­come the num­ber one mar­ket for US travel and tourism ex­ports and is its largest mar­ket in terms of spend­ing. Last year, al­most 3 mil­lion Chi­nese na­tion­als vis­ited the US — a 15.5 per­cent year-on-year growth — and spent $33 bil­lion on tourism ex­penses. He Qi in Shang­hai con­trib­uted to this story.

GAO ERQIANG / CHINA DAILY

US Con­sul Gen­eral in Shang­hai Sean Stein speaks at the newly ren­o­vated wait­ing room on Sept 7.

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