Chinese tourism to the United States dropped for the first time in 15 years after Beijing warned of the potential dangers in visiting the US
National Travel and Tourism Office data first reported by The Associated Press revealed that 2.9 million Chinese tourists traveled to the US in 2018, down 5.7 percent.
Some Chinese citizens have stayed away as a result of the travel warning, which urges tourists to be aware of shootings, robberies, and high medical costs present in the US, according to the AP, while others have likely shied away due to the ongoing trade war between Beijing and the Trump administration.
“I cannot cancel this trip because I promised my sister I would go to her commencement,” one tourist, Wang Haixa, told the news service, adding that she would end her stay early to avoid contributing to the US economy. “My relatives will contribute more than 100,000 yuan to America just staying for 10 days, and that’s enough.”
Experts noted in the report that tourism is expected to rebound this year and continue to increase along with the growth of China's middle class, despite President Trump's continued conflict with the Chinese government over trade issues.
“Even if the Chinese economy cools, it’s still going to continue to be a very good source of growth for the travel industry,” David Huether, senior vice president of research for the US Travel Association, told the AP.
Trump is currently returning from a four-day visit to Japan, where his economic policy towards Asia and the US efforts to bring North Korea back to the negotiating table on nuclear issues have been in the spotlight.