Nevada joins Brand USA, Department of Commerce to launch China Tourism Year

BEIJING, China — Nevada tourism officials attended the launch of the China Tourism Year in Beijing today, marking a cooperative effort to increase travel between China and the United States.

Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs Director Claudia Vecchio and Nevada Division of Tourism Deputy Director Larry Friedman attended the ceremony in Beijing, hosted by Brand USA, as part of an annual sales mission to China. Nevada was the first U.S. destination to be licensed by the Chinese government to advertise tourism in China and has been actively marketing the state in the 12 years since.

In 2015, President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed an agreement naming 2016 the China Tourism Year and enhancing efforts to increase tourism between the two countries. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Travel and Tourism Office is leading the effort in the United States.

“Nevada has been dedicated to the Chinese market for over a decade, and we are happy to be part of the commemoration of the China Tourism Year,” Vecchio said. “Our annual sales missions, participation in trade shows, hosting of media and travel professionals, and our continued marketing in China have certainly contributed to the impressive increase in visitors to our state.”

Nevada has experienced double-digit increases in visitors from China: 14.2 percent in 2014, the most recent full year of data reported, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office. In recent years, Chinese travel regulations have lessened, allowing more leisure travelers to the United States, and the travel visa validity has extended from one to 10 years. The National Travel and Tourism Office also reports that Chinese visitors spend on average $5,350 per person, per trip, and 15 percent of Chinese visitors to the United States come to Nevada.

“Tourism is Nevada’s No. 1 industry, employing 474,000 Nevadans and generating over $3 billion in tax revenue for the state,” Vecchio said. “It’s no surprise that international tourism is a vital part of what we do, and China is a lucrative market for Nevada.”

For more information on the Nevada Division of Tourism, visit

The Nevada Division of Tourism is part of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs. More commonly knowns as Travel Nevada, it is responsible for promoting and marketing Nevada as a travel destination to domestic and international travelers. Operating within a performance-based budget structure, Travel Nevada is funded solely by a percentage of lodging tax paid by overnight guests throughout the state. For more, visit