The two-day event, which was held in partnership with the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism, is “the marquee opportunity” to build and strengthen relations between U.S. and Chinese travel and tourism industries, organizers said.
Washington State Governor Jay Inslee said at the event’s opening ceremony that the U.S. side hopes to find a way to work together to expand people’s opportunity.
“This is not just a matter of tourism the way we look at this relationship, but the economic, cultural and intellectual relationships of our nations are growing so rapidly here in the United States,” he said.
“Over the years, the discussions that have taken place at and around this summit have proven mutually beneficial to improve strategies for tourism marketing in the United States and China,” said Chris Thompson, president and CEO of Brand USA.
Centering around the event’s theme of “culture and tourism,” the attendees held in-dept discussions on best practices in marketing, travel and tourism trends, and current issues impacting the industry.
They also examined the evolution of the China market, the importance of inspiring travelers through storytelling, and how the United States is adapting to meet technological expectations of Chinese visitors.
“China is Seattle‘s top overseas inbound visitor market and we are proud of the longstanding relationship we have forged through tourism, trade, and d cultural history,” said Tom Norwalk, president and CEO of Visit Seattle, a private, nonprofit marketing organization that dedicates to promoting tourism in Seattle.
Li Yaying, chief of the Chinese delegation to the summit, said that China and the United States are each other’s important source country of tourists and destinations, with Chinese tourists spending a total of more than 30 billion U.S. dollars in the United States in 2018.