The number of American tourists to Zhangjiajie saw a significant growth thanks to the launching of 2016 “China-US Tourism Year”. According to a ticket clerk responsible for Wujiayu entrance, a total of 2,000 people from American tourist group visited Wulingyuan Scenic Area via the entrance in the first quarter, twice as many as the same period of last year.
Zhangjiajie has gained a rising popularity in the U.S. over the past three decades of development. As early as 1986, Former Governor of Colorado Nancy E. Dick was deeply impressed by the fresh air of Wulingyuan Scenic Area. Later on, a series of inspiring activities were held in Zhangjiajie, such as aerobatic flight grand prix, World Wingsuit Flying Contest, International Country Music Week, attracting many American contestants, musicians, and bands. In 2010, Wulingyuan Scenic Area became a popular choice for tourists from Europe and America since it was recognized as the inspiration for the magical 'floating peaks' in James Cameron's film Avatar.
According to the Youth Travel Service Agency located at the entrance of Baofeng Lake, the travel agency has received 2,000 visitors from over 30 European and American countries in 2015. Among them, those from America ranked first and totaled 470. It is estimated that 2016 China-US Tourism Year will bring new opportunities for Zhangjiajie to expand its market in Europe and America.