U.S. Consul General in Shanghai Sean Stein speaks at the newly renovated waiting room, Sept 7, 2017.
The U.S. Consulate in Shanghai has re-outfitted its waiting room with photos of many natural wonders in the United States in an attempt to woo Chinese travelers.
The project is a joint effort with Brand USA, an organization dedicated to marketing the U.S. as a premier travel destination, and is aimed at promoting off-the-beaten-path destinations as well as emphasizing the importance of Chinese tourism in the U.S., according to Consular Chief Bill Weissman who presided over the ribbon cutting for the project's completion on Wednesday morning.
U.S. Consul General in Shanghai Sean Stein pointed out that an increasing number of American tourists are visiting regions in China such as Yunnan, Heilongjiang, Tibet instead of just the major cities, and that he would like for Chinese tourists to do the same.
"What we hope is that when people come through the room, they'll look at the poster on the side and decide to go beyond usual destinations like San Francisco or New York to see the many other amazing things in the U.S., such as visiting Utah, the Grand Canyon, and other small towns," said Stein.
"As more and more Chinese travelers go to the U.S. to experience America, they are helping the U.S. economy and supporting many good U.S. jobs."
China has become the number one market for U.S. travel and tourism exports and is its largest market in terms of spending. Last year, almost three million Chinese nationals visited the U.S. - a 15.5 percent year-on-year growth - and spent billion on tourism expenses.