SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Visa Inc today signed a Cooperation Plan with the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), establishing Visa as a strategic partner of the US-China Tourism Year. The landmark collaboration between the CNTA, the US Department of Commerce and Visa will provide for a year-long series of events designed to enhance tourism, trade cooperation, and cultural understanding between China and the United States.
Visa celebrated the news at an event at the Great Wall of China, where nearly 1,000 U.S. visitors were invited to climb the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall alongside decorated U.S. Olympians and Team Visa athletes Meryl Davis and Charlie White. Two-time World champions, Davis and White were the first Americans to win the gold medal for ice dancing, which they won at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
“Visa is honored to be part of the U.S.-China Tourism Year,” said Ellen Richey, vice chairman, Risk and Public Policy at Visa Inc., who was in Beijing this week to take part in the signing ceremony. “Tourism is a key driver of economic growth, development, and cultural understanding. By fostering cultural and economic exchange between the U.S. and China, the Tourism Year will bring substantial opportunity to both countries.”
Visa’s participation in the Tourism Year is part of the company’s broader long-term commitment to China, one of the world’s largest and most dynamic payments markets. Visa established its presence in China in 1993, and earlier this year announced a partnership with the China Foundation for Development of Financial Education (CFDFE) and the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA) to support the Chinese government’s efforts to reduce poverty and promote inclusive finance.
As part of its commitment to the U.S.-China Tourism Year, Visa will support a number of campaigns throughout the year, including:
• A consumer campaign featuring authentic travel experiences from local Chinese photographers, inspiring American travelers to #SeeChinaFromTheInside.
• A collaborative effort between Visa and financial institutions in China to promote cross-border travel between China and the U.S. throughout the Tourism Year.
• A marketing campaign in partnership with financial institutions in the U.S. to promote “Beautiful China” and the Tourism Year within the U.S. through cardholder and travel programs.
• Visa outreach and collaboration with local merchants to build up payment acceptance infrastructure in smaller destination cities in China. By encouraging electronic commerce, the initiative aims to make traveling and transacting easier for international travelers visiting China during the Tourism Year and beyond.
• A study on the economic impact of cross-border commerce between China and the United States in the Tourism Year.
“Visa’s support for the U.S.-China Tourism Year is a meaningful commitment that will have significant impact in both China and the United States.” said vice chairman Li Shihong of China National Tourism Administration (CNTA). “We believe, with the support from Visa and other parties involved in the initiative, the cooperation between China and the U.S. tourism industry will achieve fruitful accomplishments.”
Throughout the year, Visa will be working with Brand USA, a public private partnership that promotes the U.S. as a premier travel destination, helping to bolster two-way tourism between China and the U.S. “We are pleased Visa has joined us in support of the U.S.-China Tourism Year,” said Chris Thompson, president and CEO of Brand USA. “Visa provides a range of options to support the Chinese traveler’s decision to visit the United States and has a demonstrated commitment to the market.”