NTA announces new criteria for China Inbound Program

The National Tour Association (NTA), Lexington, KY, has announced new criteria for participation in its China Inbound Program. In conjunction with the China National Tourism Administration and the U.S. Department of Commerce, NTA issued changes in order to ensure Chinese group leisure travelers to the United States have a safe and quality vacation experience.

The Chinese Outbound Travel Research Institute recognized NTA earlier this year in Beijing during its fifth annual Travel and Tourism Market, presenting the bronze award for NTA promotion of quality service for inbound travel to the United States.

“As the Chinese group leisure travel market continues to grow in the United States, NTA and its partners felt it was important to take the next steps,” says NTA president Lisa Simon. “CNTA and the Department of Commerce are in full support of the new criteria and NTA is proud to be the only U.S. organization working in an official capacity with this market.”

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The new criterion requires participants to use sufficiently licensed suppliers and contractors who maintain up-to-date registration and insurance in compliance with applicable laws. Through their review of crash data, safety ratings and safety records, tour operators must ensure they are working with motorcoach subcontractors properly licensed in the state of operation. In addition, a special rule regarding shopping opportunities mandates shopping activities without coercion at reputable shopping facilities with quality products.

To remain an approved operator with the China Inbound Program, all participating companies must reapply to affirm that it meets these new criteria.

NTA has developed a document outlining best practices for working with the China inbound market. Though not part of the criteria to be an approved operator, NTA says these best practices are important in this market.

Recommended practices include details in six areas of activity — tour operator and supplier qualifications; itineraries and visitor experience; tour pricing and tour advertising; payment, refunds and deposits; crisis management; and continuing education.

NBTA study sees global business travel over $986 billion by 2013

The National Business Travel Association and Egencia, the corporate travel arm of Expedia, have released findings from an IHS Global Insight study of 72 countries quantifying global business travel. The evaluation suggests global business travel will exceed $986 billion by 2013.

“This study shows that business travel spending has increased by more than 35 percent since 1998, and is a significant industry in the global economy,” says Kenneth McGill, NBTA research consultant. “Most of this growth has been due to an expanding global economy and the rising dispersion of business travel activity around the world.”

The study predicts that growth of business travel in China and Japan will exceed U.S. growth over the next five years. In addition, developing nations like India, Vietnam, Iran and Indonesia will experience significant growth. Currently, the United States represents the largest piece of global business travel spending with $261 billion or 28 percent of the world total, followed by China at 10 percent and Japan at 8 percent.

The full study will include a complete profile of U.S. business travelers, as well as a comprehensive forecast of U.S. and global business travel activity.

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