Record number of US, Chinese tourists visit China, US in 2016

Published on : Wednesday, January 11, 2017

china-us-year-of-tourism-2016A record number of Americans and Chinese people have visited each other’s nation in 2016, as per the official travel records. Experts feel that the growth in tourism sector in these nations would go a long way in minimizing previous misunderstandings of each other.


The statistics from the China National Tourism Administration between January and August 2016 states that about 2.17 million Chinese citizens selected the US as their first destination for overseas trips.


The figure marks a 15.5% increase from the same period last year.


In the period between January and September 2016, over 1.66 million US nationals visited China marking a year-on-year increase of nearly 7.5% . This has made China the biggest destination on the Asia-Pacific region for US tourists. In fact, American tourists have become the third-largest source of tourists in China.


Xi Jinping, the President of China said in September 2015 that US and China should arrange for a ‘year of tourism’ for each other’s countries in 2016.


Li Jinzao, the head of the National Tourism Administration said that tourism between China and the US is progressing with a great momentum.


One of the research fellows at the Institute of American Studies of the China Academy of Social Sciences named Liu Weidong said that the main aim of the China-US Year of Tourism is to promote communication and also cut down misunderstandings between residents of two countries.


Over 8,000 Chinese enter the US daily on average, with as many as 6,000 Americans landing in China.


The travel agencies have promoted new routes in the China-US Year of Tourism.


Liu Simin who is the vice president of the Tourism Research Institute of the China Society for Future Studies said that the natural landscapes and other interesting locales where US movies had been shot actually end up attracting a large number of Chinese tourists.


On the other hand, he said that American tourists are more drawn to China by the beauty of oriental culture.


By 2020, China is planning to raise the tourism revenue to 7 trillion yuan, as declared by the government. For the American travellers, a strong dollar has made China travel a pocket-friendly choice, feels Liu Simin.


The China-US relationship equation is expected to go through a turmoil after Donald Trump assumes office as the US President on 201th January.


But then, Liu Weidong has said that the tourism policies between the two countries are unlikely to change unless Trump ushers in a ‘dramatic change’ in Sino-US relations.


However, environmental issues like smog are the main issues that would deter American tourists from visiting China. For Chinese tourists, a strict visa policy and  high travel expenses would be the barriers, he feels.


It is expected that tourism is on its way to become a significant growth driver of the Chinese economy. Within 2020, China would invest 2 trillion yuan in tourism.


Also, the sector would contribute over 12% of the total GDP, as per the country’s 13th Five-Year Plan.



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