A new battlefront has opened in the trade war between the United States and China: the $1.6 trillion American travel industry.
A Los Angeles hotel long popular with Chinese travelers saw a 23 percent decline in visits last year and another 10 percent so far this year. In New York City, spending by Chinese tourists, who spend nearly twice as much as other foreign visitors, fell 12 percent in the first quarter. And in San Francisco, busloads of Chinese tourists were once a mainstay of one fine jewelry business; over the last few years, the buses stopped coming.
Figures from the Commerce Department’s National Travel and Tourism Office show a sharp decline in the number of tourists from China last year.
Industry professionals worry that the drop-off is picking up speed this year, affecting not just airlines, hotels and restaurants, but also retailers and attractions like amusement parks and casinos.
The number of Chinese tourists coming to the United States is falling. That’s especially painful to the businesses that cater to them because they spend an average of 50 percent more than other international visitors during their stays. https://t.co/nLfgTOJWJI
— NYT Business (@nytimesbusiness) June 12, 2019