Published on : Wednesday, May 29, 2019
2.9 million visitors from China travelled to U.S. in 2018 according to the National Travel and Tourism Office. It reflected a fall of 5.7 per cent of travellers from China to U.S. It was the first time since 2003 that Chinese travel to the U.S. slipped from the prior year. National Travel and Tourism Office collects data from U.S. Customs forms.
On reports that Chinese travel to the U.S. has fallen sharply, as per the U.S. government data, The U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President for Public Affairs and Policy, Tori Barnes, expressed concern that tensions with China and trade skirmishes might affect business and other travel to the U.S.
Friction between the U.S. and China is one of the reasons for the decline. The Trump administration first imposed tariffs on Chinese solar panels and washing machines in January 2018, leading to escalation of the trade war. The U.S. now has a 25 per cent tariff on U.S. dollars 200 billion worth of Chinese imports, while China has retaliated with tariffs on U.S. dollars 60 billion of U.S. imports.
Spending by Chinese visitors (not including students) ballooned more than 600 per cent between 2008 and 2016, to nearly U.S. dollars 18.9 billion. In 2017, that fell by 1 per cent to U.S. dollars 18.8 billion, or about 12 per cent of overall tourism spending.
In general, international travel to the U.S. has been declining. International travel fell 2 per cent in 2016 and was flat in 2017. Overall data for 2018 is being awaited.