NEW YORK, May 7 (Xinhua) -- U.S.-China tourism sees great potential for collaboration, driven by a growing interest among travelers from both countries, a U.S. tourism expert has said.
Terry Dale, president and CEO of the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), a New York-based institution mainly focusing on U.S. outbound tourism, told Xinhua in a recent interview that more and more U.S. travelers are showing interest in China to explore the country's culture, history, natural wonders and lifestyles.
He believed the uptrend in bilateral tourism will continue as people became increasingly aware of the value of exposing themselves to other cultures and people.
Dale noted that the growth trajectory would create more opportunities for partnership between a ground operator in China and a U.S.-based company to work collectively.
As one of the world's largest source markets and destination countries, China contributed 149.72 million trips to the global market and received 141.2 million inbound tourist arrivals in 2018.
Statistics also showed that tourism demand between the world's two largest economies has been growing at a fast pace over the years.
China has become the No. 1 market for U.S. travel and tourism exports and is the top source market for the United States in terms of visitor spending, according to Brand USA, an organization dedicated to marketing the United States as a premier travel destination.
"Tourism is a unique industry with a great nature to foster people-to-people exchanges," said Dale, adding that bilateral tourism plays a crucial role in achieving greater understanding while bringing significant economic implications.
"The people-to-people exchanges help us understand that we're more alike than we are different," he said.