City of Atlanta to Host 2017 U.S. – China Tourism Leadership Summit

Centennial Olympic Park and downtown Atlanta
Centennial Olympic Park and downtown Atlanta

Mayor Kasim Reed announced today that Atlanta, in partnership with Brand USA and the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), will host the 11th annual U.S. – China Tourism Leadership Summit in 2017 for the first time. Mayor Reed made the announcement today at this year’s summit in Los Angeles.

“Exploring and creating economic development opportunities to improve Atlanta’s position as a market for international trade and commerce has been a priority of my Administration,” said Mayor Reed. “Hosting the summit in 2017 will allow us to show key tourism officials in China that Atlanta is an international city that’s ready to welcome more Chinese visitors.”

The summit, which alternates yearly between the U.S. and China, brings together approximately 250 high-ranking tourism and government officials from the two countries for a program of business sessions and networking opportunities to foster valuable relationships that mutually benefit the U.S. and Chinese tourism industries.

“China is currently the fourth-largest source market for inbound tourism to the U.S. Slightly more than 2 million Chinese visited the U.S. during 2014. By 2018, China is expected to become the number-one market,” said Chris Thompson, Brand USA’s president and CEO.

In 2014, China became Atlanta’s No. 2 inbound overseas market in terms of visitor volume. By the year 2024, China is expected to rise to the No. 1 spot. However, China already ranks No. 1 in terms of spending by overseas visitors in Atlanta. Brand USA estimates that Chinese visitors spend about $6,000 per person, per trip to the U.S. - about 30 percent more than other inbound international travelers.

“China represents an incredibly strong growth opportunity for tourism to Atlanta,” said William Pate, president and CEO, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The summit will provide a platform to showcase the growth of our destination and educate Chinese tourism officials about Atlanta’s world-class cultural, educational and retail offerings.”

Past U.S. host cities include Charlotte, Chicago, Kona, Los Angeles and Orlando.