The group of US travel industry professionals pose for a photo during their visit to Suzhou Musem in Suzhou, Jiangsu province on Sept 13. [Photo/ chinadaily.com.cn]
When the group of 39 Americans arrived at the Humble Administrator's Garden in Suzhou, Jiangsu province on Sept 13, some of the local visitors stopped in their tracks in amazement.
But judging by the success of the group's week-long visit to the East China city, tourists from the US could soon be an everyday sight in Suzhou.
This was no ordinary tour group. All of the visitors worked for US travel companies, and they had come to size up Suzhou's potential as a tourist destination for American holidaymakers.
The travel professionals were given a two-day tour of the 2,500-year-old city from Sept 13 to 14, including visits to famous sights like Tiger Hill and Shantang Street, as well as chances to experience traditional Chinese art forms such as paper cutting, silk-making and Kunqu Opera.
They also attended the 2017 China-US Travel Trade Conference on Sept 15, where they had the opportunity to meet with 38 Chinese travel professionals to discuss potential ways to cooperate on vacation packages and tours.