In 2010, the Department of Commerce reported that more than 800,000 Chinese
visitors contributed $5 billion to the U.S. economy. Ambassador Gary Locke
has been emphasizing the importance of travel and trade between United
States and China. He presented the one millionth visa adjudicated in China
on December 14, 2011. The average wait time for visa interview appointments
have dropped to less than one week. The United States is encouraging the
Chinese government to extend visa reciprocity to provide both U.S. and
Chinese travelers with visas with longer validity periods. An increase
in Chinese visitors will create more jobs and opportunities in the U.S.
travel and tourism industries.