Seattle Wins Bid to Host 2019 U.S. – China Tourism Leadership Summit

September 11, 2018

Visit Seattle and Brand USA will host the 13th Annual U.S.–China Tourism Leadership Summit in Seattle September 2019.

More than 200 attendees are expected to attend from both nations to foster and build strong relationships between the countries’ tourism leaders, to encourage an open exchange of ideas and to promote tourism between the two countries.     

“Visit Seattle is proud to be named host of the 2019 U.S.–China Tourism Leadership Summit. This is an incredibly sensitive time for U.S. and Chinese relations for a number of reasons, but in Seattle and in the wider Puget Sound region, we are proud of the longstanding relationship we have forged through tourism, business interests and shared cultural history. The event could not come at a better time to reinforce the strength of those bonds especially as China continues to grow aggressively as our top overseas inbound visitor market. This year, we expect to welcome more than 205,000 Chinese visitors to Seattle, resulting in more than $266 million in visitor spending,” said President and CEO of Visit Seattle Tom Norwalk.

He added,  “This leadership summit allows us to showcase Seattle and the Puget Sound region to 250 leading travel and tourism executives from both China and across the U.S. It also provides Visit Seattle and our partners a compelling opportunity to showcase the best of what our region offers and position Seattle as a must-visit destination for the lucrative China market.”

China became Seattle’s top overseas inbound visitor market in 2010, when visitation from the market grew 133 percent as compared to the previous year.

With superior air connectivity, connections in the technology and aviation industries, and a large local Chinese-American population, the Chinese tourism market to Seattle has continued to grow aggressively. In the next five years, the number of visitors from China to the city is expected to grow to more than 300,000.

“As former Governor of the State of Washington and U.S. Ambassador to China, I congratulate Visit Seattle on being named host of the 2019 U.S.–China Tourism Leadership Summit. As Ambassador I learned first-hand how sensitive travel can be to government procedures, which is why I fought to successfully reduce scheduling wait times for visa interviews.  It is exciting to see travel and tourism leaders from both the U.S. and China gathering to proactively discuss best practices and opportunities to encourage travel,” said Gary Locke.

He added, “At such a turbulent time politically, I am proud that Visit Seattle will host this critical Summit and I look forward to being actively engaged in the event’s success.”

As a leading U.S. destination in the China market, Seattle is well equipped to handle the complex logistics of hosting this multi-day, multi-lingual event.

Guests from China can easily connect to Seattle with convenient flights from Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen.

Travel colleagues from across the U.S. have an extensive domestic network of flights to choose from into Sea-Tac International Airport. The combination of Seattle’s outstanding hotel supply and event venue options as well as its vibrant and welcoming downtown will make for a seamless experience in the city.

“Brand USA looks forward to the Summit’s return to the USA in 2019, and we know Seattle will offer one big welcome to the U.S. and China government officials and travel and tourism industry leaders who attend,” said President and CEO of Brand USA Christopher L. Thompson.

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