China could be the US’ top source market by 2018: Brand USA

IF ARRIVALS continue to grow at current rates, Chinese tourists to the US could reach four million by 2018 to become the country’s biggest source market.

Jay Gray, vice president of global marketing development, Brand USA, told TTG Asia e-Daily the 6.1 per cent year-on-year growth in Asian arrivals last year was outpaced by China’s 20 per cent increase.

Assuming China maintains the current rate of increase, it will reach 2.1 million visitors for full-year 2015 and 2.6 million next year.

Brand USA’s primary focus is still leisure and FITs, and the NTO will work with wholesalers to create more products for the latter, said Gray. So far, Brand USA has chanelled most of its efforts on Hong Kong, South China and Taiwan.

In order to continue driving Asian arrivals, Brand USA will launch its online training programme for travel consultants in India and China in late 2015.

The USA Discovery Program is comprised of 10 top-tier modules with information on the different regions within the US, and in-depth information on specific areas such as skiing, golf, and national parks as the US prepares for the 100th anniversary of its National Park Service.

“Even US partners like Cirque du Soleil have come to us and want to add their show to the module as a lot of people don’t know what is available,” said Gray.

The USA Discovery Program is available in six languages including English and Chinese.

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