On November 10, one of the most impactful developments regarding relations between the United States and China was made at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) – a new visa policy.
This new policy now allows Chinese citizens U.S. travel visas to be extended to 10 years, making travel to the U.S. much easier by eliminating frequent visa extension fees and associated paperwork.
This announcement coincided perfectly with Georgia’s efforts at the 2014 North America Tour Suppliers Asia Pacific Sales Mission, which took place in Beijing and Shanghai on November 10-18, 2014, and aims to increase the number of Chinese tourists to North America.
During this mission, staff from the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Tourism Division met with more than 50 tour operators and received excellent media coverage.
In 2013, 1.8 million Chinese tourists visited the U.S. and spent more than $21 billion dollars, helping to create over 100,000 U.S. jobs. With this new visa policy, it is expected that 7 million Chinese tourists will travel to the U.S. every year by 2021.
While this visa extension is expected to increase tourism across the board, according to the interview with Kevin Langston, Deputy Commissioner for Tourism conducted by Beijing TV, destinations like Georgia are popular for 2nd or 3rd time vacations to the U.S. This visa extension creates more opportunities for the Chinese to visit and experience everything that Georgia has to offer.