As the country gears up to mark the 50th anniversary of the outbreak of the Tiananmen Square uprising, the United States is embarking on its biggest international travel push ever.
The White House announced Thursday that it will begin a four-day, $1 billion, seven-nation tour aimed at boosting international tourism and attracting new business, with Chinese cities such as Shenzhen, Beijing and Shanghai expected to be among the main attractions.
Travel agencies such as Lonely Planet, Expedia, TripAdvisor and AirBnb are expected to take part in the tours.
The Chinese government has said it will help with the cost of the trip, which will also include trips to Shanghai and Shenzhen.
Tour groups will be allowed to visit tourist attractions, including the Tianbao International Bridge and the iconic Shanghai Tower, where the iconic Communist Party headquarters once stood.
Travel agencies, which are typically the first to see a potential overseas visitor, will be able to pitch in to help guide tourists on their way to the capital, Beijing.
China is already one of the world’s largest tourism markets and the country’s tourism industry has grown more than fourfold over the past decade, with visitors spending more than $30 billion in 2015, according to the Tourism Administration of China.
The United States has long had a close relationship with China, and President Donald Trump has promised to do more to promote economic and diplomatic ties.
Travelers to China can get a discount on flights on the China Southern Airlines (CSIA) and China Southern Air China (CSIC) domestic flights.
China Southern will offer a $10 “first class” flight for travelers between Shenzhen and Beijing.
Travelers from China to Hong Kong will get a discounted flight.
And the U.S. Department of Commerce, Commerce, Labor and Pensions, which oversees travel, has announced a $1.5 billion fund for international tourism that will fund programs to help Chinese citizens and companies.