U.S. Travel concerned over tensions with China

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Competition between China and the U.S. has intensified on several fronts including trade and technology, the South China Sea and the Arctic, and is causing fallout in terms of tourism as well.

The U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President for Public Affairs and Policy, Tori Barnes, issued the following statement on reports that Chinese travel to the U.S. has fallen sharply, according to U.S. government data. See also U.S. Travel’s latest International Inbound Travel Market Report for China.

“The difficulty with trade skirmishes is that the unintended consequences are hard to predict, and we were concerned from the start that tensions with China might affect business and other travel to the U.S.

“The irony is that travel exports have been the greatest success story of our trade relationship with China, generating a $30 billion surplus and accounting for 19% of all our exports to that country in 2017.

“The Chinese visit the U.S. in strong numbers, and they spend an average of $6,700 per trip—about 50% more than the average international visitor.

“While our commercial and security relationships with China are certainly complicated, it is an undeniable fact that Chinese travel to the U.S. has been a huge win for the U.S. economy and jobs, and there are warning signs that advantage is beginning to erode.”