[photopress:travel_NY_city_tour.jpg,full,alignright]The Sino-U.S. memorandum of understanding (MOU) on tourism means that Chinese will be able to travel to the United States in groups on tourist visas. Currently, the United States issues only business visas to Chinese. The travel business expects a surge of travel.
A manager with China International Travel Service (CITS), China’s biggest travel service, said, ‘Everything will be in place only when we know how the MOU will be implemented. Some U.S. travel agencies are coming to us as well.’
Most travel agencies interviewed plan to promote tours linking Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Washington D.C., New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Diego and Hawaii, at an average cost of RMB25,000 yuan (US$3,351) per person.
Liu Yanwen, manager of U.S. section in China Travel Service (CTS), China’s second largest travel service, said, ‘Although very inviting, the U.S. tour will keep some potential travelers away because of the tight visa interview procedure and the comparatively high expense.’
The European Union does not require visa interviews for tourists in groups. A tour covering 12 European countries costs about RMB16,000 yuan (US$2,162).
And Liu Yanwen said the transport costs in Europe are also lower than those in the United States.
She said, ‘Many Chinese people are curious about America as they are already familiar with it through Hollywood movies. So I am quite optimistic about the U.S. travel market.’
Source: People’s Daily Online