AH&LA Endorses Visa Extension for Chinese Travelers

NEW YORK—American Hotel and Lodging Association (AH&LA) president and CEO Katherine Lugar endorsed President Obama’s plan to extend the validity period for visas issued to Chinese students, travelers and tourists.

Under the new plan, visas will be valid for 10 years for Chinese business travelers and tourists, and five years for students as opposed to the current time frame of one year.

“This prudent reform has the potential to greatly increase the number of visitors to our country from China, and that is good not just for hotels, but for job growth and the economy,” stated Lugar. “The hotel industry has been one of the leading sectors in powering the economic recovery, and expanding foreign travel presents an exciting opportunity for even greater expansion, especially with respect to China and it’s rapidly expanding middle class. Indeed, some analysts expect the number of Chinese citizens traveling outside of the country to double from 100 million to 200 million by 2020. The hotel industry is excited and ready to accommodate and welcome an influx of travelers from China. This marks a significant advancement in travel and tourism promotion, and we thank the President for this timely decision.”