ORLANDO, Fla. (AdAge.com) -- Nearly 500,000 mainland Chinese traveled to America last year, said the U.S. Travel Association. Visitors from China tend to come frequently and spend an average of 23 nights in the U.S.
They also spend more than people from any other country, an average of $7,200 each on accommodation, air travel, dining, shopping and gambling.
The U.S. Travel Association invited tourism officials from 30 Chinese provinces and the China National Tourism Administration to Orlando on Oct. 23-24, 2009, to discuss issues affecting both countries from the H1N1 flu to the Shanghai World Expo 2010.
Chinese travel to America has grown quickly. China only added the U.S. as an approved destination in December 2007, and recently expanded international marketing for Chinese group leisure travel from six provinces to 21, more than tripling access to America by its citizens.
With China's growing purchasing power, rapid economic liberalization and relaxed restrictions on overseas travel, tourism has emerged as a new growth industry for China. The mainland has a middle class of more than 300 million people able to travel to the U.S.
America isn't the only overseas country that Chinese are eager to visit. China is the fastest growing outbound travel market in the world. Close to 45 million Chinese traveled abroad last year, generating over $35 billion in tourism revenue, according to the market research firm Bharat Book Bureau. Interest in travel within China is also growing. China has one of the world's largest domestic tourism markets, generating revenue of over $100 billion in 2008.
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