I’ve reported that Route 66 businesses and tourist centers should ready for what will likely be an influx of Chinese tourists in the coming years, due to that country’s rising affluence.
Here’s more evidence over the weekend from the Amarillo Globe-News:
An Amarillo company has become the first North American tourism destination to be promoted by a Beijing-based travel hub hailed for its technological innovation.
Cowgirls and Cowboys in the West of Amarillo has partnered with Trekiz Group Unlimited, a global tour-booking engine founded by Wenqing Tian, a former director of strategy and planning for American Internet technology firm Cisco Systems.
Cowgirls owner Phyllis Payne and her team worked with Trekiz to create Western and Route 66 tours that should be popular with the booking engine’s clients, Tian said in an announcement from the companies.
Cowgirls and Cowboys in the West, which provides western-themed tours of Route 66, nearby Palo Duro Canyon and other regional sites, was formed in 2011 after Paul McCartney’s tour of Route 66 in August 2008 made company owner Phyllis Payne realize how important Route 66 and tourism were.
According to the Globe-News, Trekiz enjoys a great reputation in the travel industry, and its influence may extend far beyond China’s borders.
The newspaper said China has become the ninth-largest inbound market in the U.S. Visits by Chinese tourists and their spending rose between 30 percent and 40 percent in 2011.
The New Yorker reported in 2011 that the number of Chinese tourists probably will reach 100 million a year by the end of the decade.