Growing friction among the US and China and economic uncertainty, Chinese travelers are vacationing nearer to home.
According to the National Travel and Tourism Office, Chinese tourism to the US has gone down by 5.7% in 2018 to 2.9 million visitors. In comparison, the US received more than 3 million Chinese visitors in 2016 and 2017.
The pressure due to the constant trade war is the cause of the slowdown. Retaliating on the forced high tariffs on Chinese imports, China issued a travel notice for the US last summer warning its citizens to be careful of mass shootings, burglaries, and high costs of medical care – which are all a slight shade to America.
US-China relations were additionally strained by the prohibition on Huawei, which is China’s telecom giant. The main issue with Huawei is its suspected use of spyware to spy on other countries. The tech company was added to the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security Entity List on 15 May after President Donald Trump issued an executive order that bans Huawei from US communications systems.
Chinese travelers are choosing for closer destinations like Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan to avoid any inconvenience that is a by-product of the trade war.
In 2017, China classified fifth on US inbound tourism trailing behind Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Japan. Though, Chinese tourists showed to be big spenders that reached USD 261.1 billion in 2016