Chinese President Xi Jinping was in Washington State this week and gave a speech in Seattle announcing the launch of a “Chinese-U.S. Tourism Year” for 2016. Li Jinzao, chairman of the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) vowed to work with leaders in both countries to make the year of tourism a success. Tourism between the two countries continues to grow, with 250 million visitors between China and the U.S. in the past eight years, and an increase of 7.6% year over year. The number of tourists traveling between the two countries currently exceeds four million a year; Li said he hopes to see that number top five million a year soon. Chairman Li recently met with tourism heads from the U.S. and around the world last week at the 21st General Assembly of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in Medellín, Colombia, and will continue to work closely with UNWTO and other global tourism leaders in the coming year, as China was voted to host the 22nd UNWTO General Assembly in May 2016. For the “China-U.S. Tourism Year” in 2016 specifically, the two countries will plan events to expand cooperation between U.S. states and China’s provinces, impact development within the tourism industry, and bring more conveniences to visiting tourists.