After years of double-digit growth, the number of Chinese visitors to the US and the amount they spend are shrinking, inflicting a hit on the USD 1.6 trillion travel industry.
The inflection point was 2017, coinciding with President Trump’s assumption of power and the intensification of US-Chinese brinkmanship, according to data from the National Travel and Tourism Office, an industry association.
In 2012, the number of Chinese tourists rose 31.8% and in 2016 by 16% among an unbroken string of double-digit increases. Their overall spending went from double digits to a 4% increase in 2017, and a 2% drop last year.
Chinese tourists and students are perhaps the biggest spenders of all visitors to the US. Last year, they spent USD 34.6 billion, compared with USD 16 billion spent by British tourists and USD 9 billion spent by South Koreans.