Brand USA, the destination-marketing organisation for the United States, in partnership with United Airlines, has hosted its first-ever China familiarisation tour.
The October MegaFam included 50 prominent tour operators from locations across China.
“We've been working with our partners for some time to host a familiarisation tour of qualified tour operators from China as part of the US–China Tourism Year strategy,” said Thomas Garzilli, chief marketing officer for Brand USA.
“The MegaFam provided top travel industry professionals, from locations throughout China, the opportunity to experience the United States to, through, and beyond gateway cities.”
United Airlines operates more nonstop US-China flights, and to more cities in China, than any other airline, as well as more trans-Pacific services from China than any other US airline with 17 routes and more than 100 flights to the United States from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
In December, United will introduce an all-new United Polaris business class on long-haul intercontinental flights, including all of China-mainland US routes, which includes Saks Fifth Avenue custom bedding and a new in-flight food and beverage experience.
According to preliminary statistics tracked by the National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO), the United States welcomed nearly 2.6 million visitors from China in 2015 - becoming the fifth-largest international market in terms of visitation to the United States. This was an 18% increase over 2014, a year that saw a 21% annual growth.
China is the number one international market in terms of US travel and tourism exports – adding nearly $74 million a day into the U.S. economy.