NTA China Inbound Program Description
NTA China Inbound Program Description
Dec. 11, 2007, was a landmark day in the U.S. tourism industry. After lengthy negotiations, the United States and the People's Republic of China signed a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate Chinese inbound leisure travel to the United States. Before signing the Dec. 11 agreement, U.S. destinations and companies were not allowed to market themselves in China, putting the U.S. travel industry at a disadvantage to other destinations.
NTA has taken a leading role in facilitating this Chinese inbound leisure travel to the United States, and you can read more about this below in the section titled, The NTA China Inbound Program.
Leisure travel from China is heavily regulated. China has signed bilateral agreements with more than 130 countries in order to facilitate the ability of leisure travel groups to travel outside of the country. Travelers may only use travel agents approved to conduct outbound travel. Likewise, a Chinese travel agent may only use a tour operator that is on an approved list to arrange leisure travel for Chinese groups.
Tour operators in the receiving country must have policies and procedures in place to ensure that Chinese groups would have the best possible travel experience and have access to Chinese-speaking guides, materials, etc. In countries with which China has outbound travel agreements, the receiving country's government is tasked with regulating its tour operators to ensure compliance with these policies and procedures.
In the United States, the government will not fulfill that role. The government has looked to the private sector to self-regulate tour operators engaged in Chinese inbound travel to the United States. NTA is uniquely positioned and was the obvious choice to take a leadership role in facilitating the inbound tourism.
With its long history of tour operator education and industry self-regulation through membership requirements, NTA is the most qualified U.S. organization to fulfill this role.
The NTA China Inbound Program
On February 20, NTA became the only U.S. trade association to have a program for tour operator regulation accepted by the Chinese National Tourism Administration. Under this program, tour operators must fill out an application and meet certain criteria to be placed on an "approved list" of tour operators to be utilized by Chinese travel agents.
To be eligible for the program, companies must:As of June 10, 2009
- The Tour Operator shall commit to be directly, legally and economically responsible to each tour participant for each component/element/aspect of the group tourist travel occurring in the US.
- The Tour Operator shall commit that group tourist travel in the US shall be in strict accord with itinerary and that any changes to the itinerary must be approved by the group tourists and/or their travel agent.
- The Tour Operator shall commit that group tourist travel itineraries and pricing information shall be in Mandarin Chinese and in English.
- The Tour Operator shall commit that group tourist travel shall have a guide or accompanier fluent in Mandarin Chinese.
- The Tour Operator also must attest that no aspect of the itinerary will be misrepresented and that the location and quality of lodging must be accurately portrayed in tour advertising and confirmations.
- The Tour Operator shall commit to utilizing suppliers and contractors that are sufficiently licensed, maintain up-to-date registration and insurance and are in compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations relevant to their tour function.
- The Tour Operator shall commit to reviewing crash data, safety ratings and safety records of motorcoach subcontractors utilized for China Inbound Group Travel. The Tour Operator shall also commit to utilizing motorcoach subcontractors properly licensed in the state(s) of operation for China Inbound Group Tour Travel and which are in compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations.
- The Tour Operator shall commit that shopping opportunities for China Inbound Tour Groups shall be conducted without coercion at reputable shopping facilities, with quality products, with the greatest care for visitor safety and well-being.
- The Tour Operator shall commit to participation in educational programming in order to keep abreast of current issues and trends in the Chinese Inbound U.S. market.
Additions and deletions to the approved tour operator list will be given to the CNTA on a frequent basis.
Membership in the NTA China Inbound Program will be on a calendar year basis and must be renewed annually or as needed due to modifications of program eligibility criteria.
China Inbound Program fee and policy
The 2013 fee for the China Inbound Program in 2013 is US$400.00. The fee will be in effect for all 2013 CHIP memberships.
The Program Fee for registered CNTA Operators is not refundable upon acceptance into the program. The fee is not pro-rated and due annually upon membership renewal. Failure to pay the program fee within 30 days of membership expiration will result in automatic termination from the registered CNTA Program. Terminated companies are not eligible for a refund of Program Fees.
Removal from the China Inbound Program
The National Tour Association has a Complaint Disposition Process in place to handle disputes between members or between consumers and tour operators. This process, along with the Association's Code of Ethical Standards and Conduct and membership requirements, demonstrates our commitment to industry self-regulation. Any disputes involving the NTA China Inbound Program participants will be addressed through this process. Tour operators who consistently fall short of the NTA China Inbound Program guidelines will be removed from the approved tour operator list and possibly have their membership in NTA terminated.
Tour operators removed from the approved tour operator list via the Complaint Disposition Process may petition for a review of the decision under Complaint Disposition Process guidelines. Companies removed from the approved list may be eligible to apply for reinstatement one year after removal.