Representatives attend 14th China-US Tourism Leadership Summit in Xi’an
Published: May 22, 2024 10:48 AM
Students from Brigham?Young?University in the US and youths of China's Xi'an city choir China's folk song Jasmine at the opening ceremony of the 14th China-US Tourism Leadership Summit. Photo:Xu liuliu/GT

Students from Brigham Young University in the US and youths of China's Xi'an city choir China's folk song Jasmine at the opening ceremony of the 14th China-US Tourism Leadership Summit. Photo: Xu liuliu/GT

"Drop the drawbridge. Open the City Gate. Welcome the distinguished guests!" As the ancient City Wall gates slowly opened, guests for the 14th China-US Tourism Leadership Summit were led into the city for a special journey and experience of Tang Dynasty (618-907) etiquette culture in Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi Province on Tuesday night.

The delegations from the US included officials from the US Department of Commerce, representatives from destinations like Brand USA, Travel Oregon, Destination DC, NYC Tourism + Conventions, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, and Visit Seattle, as well as the US-China Business Council.

Walking through the South Gate, these guests discovered that the Grand Welcome Ceremony has become a platform to display Chinese traditional and Xi'an regional culture. The state guest performance highlighted Chinese traditional props, clothing, music, dance, and architecture to reproduce the splendor of the Tang style in Xi'an, which is also renowned as the home of the Terracotta Warriors.

The summit, which runs from Tuesday to Thursday, is one of the results of the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries at the San Francisco summit meeting.

Established in 2007, the China-US Tourism Leadership Summit provides a platform for discussion between Chinese and US tourism industry leaders and government officials from both countries.

Tourism exchanges have always been an important component of China-US relations, playing a crucial role in enhancing mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples. The two sides will take measures to expand cultural and people-to-people exchanges, welcoming students from each other's countries.

According to Zhang Zheng, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, in his welcome speech on Tuesday night, China has recently taken effective steps to simplify visa applications for foreigners traveling to China and promote the facilitation of foreign payments.

With the joint efforts of both China and the US, the number of direct flights has increased to 100 per week, according to Xie Feng, the Chinese Ambassador to the US.

The Chinese and US tourism industries have actively participated in the summit. Nearly 400 representatives from both sides participated in the dialogue, almost three times the number of participants in the 13th summit in 2019, said Zhang in his speech.

Zhang also added that they warmly welcome people from the United States and all over the world to come to China for vacation. While experiencing the beauty of nature and culture, they can fully feel the enthusiasm and friendship of the Chinese people.

Sun Jiashan, an associate researcher at the Central Academy of Culture and Tourism Administration, told the Global Times on Tuesday that the upcoming Xi'an summit has been highly anticipated by both sides as they hope to promote exchanges and foster a better understanding.

Brand USA, the destination marketing organization for the United States, sees the summit as marking "a historic milestone reuniting government and travel industry leaders from the United States and China," according to its official website.

It is also confident that "this event will celebrate the long-awaited return of Chinese visitors to the United States, aiming to renew and strengthen relationships among participants" and "set the stage for the future of relations between the United States and China in the travel industry."