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The trade war between the United States and China has led to a rapid fall in Chinese tourist trips to the country. This comes after more than a decade of the big growth of inflow from the Asian country.
According to the National Travel and Tourism Bureau, which collects data from U.S. customs forms, the volume of travel from China to the States decreased by 5.7% in 2018 and amounted to 2.9 million tourists. The loss of U.S. tourism traffic occurred for the first time since 2003.
This may be a surprise to many, considering the fact that Chinese trips abroad have been growing strongly and steadily. According to official data, almost 150 million trips were made by Chinese tourists last year, an increase of 14.7% compared to 2017.
The reason for this fall is clear – the ongoing trade war between the two countries which began in January last year. For example, in the USA there is a 25% tariff for Chinese imports. The latest round of the conflict was the ban on cooperation with Huawei introduced by Trump. All leading American IT companies, including Google, Microsoft, and Intel, refused to deliver software, technologies, and equipment to the Chinese telecommunication giant.
At the same time, last summer, the countries exchanged “courtesies”. China warned its tourists that in the USA they should be wary of the possibility of getting involved in a gunfight in the US. The United States, in turn, issued a warning for its tourists about travelling to China.
However, experts state that the fall should be only temporary, considering the fact that the middle class in China is growing year by year. According to official forecasts, this year tourism from China should grow by 2% to 3.3 million visitors and is expected to reach 4.1 million visitors in 2023.
One of the keys that can get Chinese inflow to the States back on track is social media, as it is a great method how to attract the new generation of travelers, who depend on smartphones, apps and social networks.
Another interesting way for U.S. tourism companies to attract Chinese visitors was introduced by Washington not long ago. The state launched a Welcome China program whose aim is to help hotels, restaurants and other facilities to attract as many Chinese visitors as possible. This program includes informing them about Chinese customs, encouraging them to introduce menus in Chinese, etc.