Chinese tourists are visiting the United Stages in record numbers. Until now, there has not been a Chinese tour guide certification program specifically designed for this market
San Francisco, CA (Vocus) April 14, 2010
International Tour Management Institute (ITMI), America’s premier training program for tour guides since1976, has already certified two groups of Mandarin-speaking tour guides to escort inbound Chinese tour groups.
“Chinese tourists are visiting the United Stages in record numbers. Until now, there has not been a Chinese tour guide certification program specifically designed for this market,” says Ted Bravos, CEO of ITMI. “The first impression tourists form is often shaped by the experience they have with their tour guide. The tour guide is the face of America. Tour guides serve as ambassadors of goodwill. They provide travelers with a sense of security, while they are on foreign soil. They are perhaps the single most important element of a successful tour. ITMI’s Chinese tour guide certification program teaches Chinese-speakers how to ensure that travelers expectations are met and that they have positive memories of their time in America.”
In 2007, the U.S. and China signed a memorandum of understanding to facilitate Chinese group leisure travel from China to the United States. The National Tour Association (NTA), of which ITMI has been an active member for more than three decades, is the only trade association in the United States to have a tour operator qualification program approved by the China National Tourism Administration. NTA has approved more than 170 China inbound tour operators. This illustrates the tremendous need for professional Chinese tour guides to enhance the experience of Chinese visitors while they are in the United States.
The United Nations World Travel Organization ranked China as the fastest growing travel market in the world. It is estimated there will be 100 million Chinese travelling internationally by 2020. Nearly 400,000 Chinese travellers came to the U.S. in 2007, where they spent a record $2.56 billion. The average expenditure per person was over $6,000.
Working closely with NTA approved China inbound tour operators, ITMI intends to offer an ongoing series of Chinese Tour Director Certification programs to meet the demand for highly qualified tour guides within the exciting Chinese leisure travel market.
For more information about ITMI or the Chinese tour guide program contact Joan Keddell at (800) 442-4864 (415) 957-9489 email travel(at)itmisf(dot)com or visit ITMI’s web site http://www.itmitourtraining.com
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