Fewer Chinese Traveling to United States
The United States tourism industry is facing a problem: A drop in the number of Chinese visiting U.S. cities and states.
Close to 3 million Chinese traveled to the country last year. They spent quite a lot of money. The U.S. Travel Association estimates they spent an average of $6,700 per person per trip. That amount is more than 50 percent higher than the average spending of international tourists, the group said.
But the number of visitors from China dropped nearly 4 percent in the first six months of this year. This follows a nearly 6% drop in 2018.
Reasons for the Drop in Chinese Tourists
Tourism industry experts say there could be several reasons for the smaller number of visitors.
Theresa Belpulsi is with Destination DC, the tourism marketing office for Washington, DC. She thinks one of the reasons is trade tensions between the two countries.
"With the trade war, with some of the travel warnings, with some of our visa challenges that we've had, we've seen a little bit of a dip in Chinese visitors," she said.
"The U.S. is just losing market share," notes Adam Sacks, president of advisory service Tourism Economics. "Something's made the U.S. uncompetitive, and I would target the trade war as one of the reasons."
Larry Yu is a professor of hospitality management at George Washington University. He says that people are slow to forget the idea that a country has an unwelcoming environment.
"The trade war creates a kind of environment in China that makes people think twice," Yu said. "Even though we know that Chinese demand is high, the current environment makes people substitute the U.S. for another place."
China's government has published two warnings for Chinese interested in visiting the United States: One was about gun violence; the other, about harassment by U.S. law enforcement.
In a related issue, visa approvals for Chinese visitors have become more difficult. The U.S. rejection rate of Chinese tourist visa applications reached 17 perncet in the 12 months from October 2017 to September of 2018. Five years earlier, the rate was a much lower 8.5 percent.
U.S. tourism competitors are also taking steps to attract Chinese travelers. The European Travel Commission has joined with Chinese representatives at travel shows and partnered with Chinese media personalities to share videos and social media posts.
The commission notes that Europe welcomed 14 million Chinese tourists last year.
U.S. Travel Industry Tries to Get More Tourists
Adam Sacks of Tourism Economics says he hopes that local travel marketing agencies across the country can help raise the number of Chinese tourists.
The District of Columbia, for one, has increased its advertising and programs for China. Destination DC's latest plan is to offer hotel discounts for the Lunar New Year in 2020. The plan includes a number of events and performances aimed at Chinese tourists.
San Francisco has used social media to reach out to Chinese tourists. The city created ads that drove some 12 million people to a contest showcasing the city's famous landmarks. The San Francisco Travel Association says the city used two popular Chinese apps, WeChat and Weibo, for the campaign.
At the same time, tourism marketing agencies for U.S. cities and states are trying to reach countries other than China. Utah and Los Angeles, among others, are trying to expand their presence in nations like India.
"There's a great deal of interest," said Jamie Foley of the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board. "But that comes with the understanding that India is very different from China."
Even with the drop in Chinese tourists, some experts note how important China will be to the U.S. tourism industry for years to come.
"The trade war's an important subject, but it's seen as a temporary setback," said Sage Brennan, co-founder of the company China Luxury Advisors. "Over the next 20 to 30 years, China is going to continue to impact and shape the tourism market."
I'm Alice Bryant.
And I'm John Russell.
1.trade war 贸易战
The most important thing is to reach an agreement and to avoid a trade war.
2.social media 社交媒体
We have all witnessed the power of social media.
3.tourist visa 旅游签证
I want to apply for a regular tourist visa.
4.tourism marketing 旅游市场营销
Tourism marketing strategy is the key to sustainable development of the industry foran area.
5.At the same time, tourism marketing agencies for U.S. cities and states are trying to reach countries other than China.
At the same time 同时
It's impossible to get everybody together at the same time.
We can't hold the two meetings at the same time; we must stagger them.
6.Even with the drop in Chinese tourists, some experts note how important China will be to the U.S. tourism industry for years to come.
for years to come 未来几年
The Japanese economy will continue to outpace its foreign rivals for years to come.
I think I will talk about this hotel for years to come.
去年，有近300万中国游客到美国旅游 。他们大量地消费 。美国旅游协会估计，他们一次出行的人均消费为6700美元 。该协会表示，这一数据比国际游客的平均消费高出了50%以上 。
而今年上半年，来自中国的游客数量下降了近4% 。这是继2018年下降近6%后的又一次下跌 。
特蕾莎·贝尔鲍西在华盛顿旅游局任职，这是华盛顿特区的旅游营销机构 。她认为原因之一是两国之间的贸易关系紧张 。
旅游经济咨询公司的负责人亚当·萨克斯（Adam Sacks）指出：“美国正在失去市场份额 。一些原因导致美国失去了竞争力，我认为贸易战就是其中之一 。”
拉里·余是乔治华盛顿大学的酒店管理学教授 。他说，人们很难消除一个国家有不友好环境的印象 。
拉里·余表示：“贸易战在中国营造出让游客赴美需慎重的环境 。即使我们知道中国人的旅游需求旺盛，但是当前的环境他们不得不选择其它地方 。”
另一方面，中国游客的签证审核也更“变本加厉” 。2017年10月至2018年9月的12个月内，中国旅游签证拒签率达到17% 。而在5年前，这一比例要低得多，仅为8.5% 。
美国旅游竞争对手也在采取措施吸引中国游客 。欧盟旅游委员会与中国代表一起参加了旅游展，并与中国的媒体人士合作转发视频和社交媒体帖子 。
以哥伦比亚特区为例，它增加了针对中国游客的广告和项目 。华盛顿旅游局最新的计划是在2020年农历新年期间提供酒店折扣 。该计划还包括面向中国游客的许多活动和表演 。
旧金山利用了社交媒体来吸引中国游客 。该市制作的广告吸引了大约1200万人参加了展示该市著名地标的比赛 。旧金山旅游协会表示，该市通过了两个热门中文应用程序微信和微博进行宣传 。
同时，美国各州和城市的旅游营销机构也在设法吸引中国以外的其它国家的游客 。犹他州和洛杉矶州等地都在努力扩大在印度等国家的影响力 。
洛杉矶会议及旅游局的杰米·弗利表示：“人们对此兴趣非常浓厚 。但是同时要意识到印度与中国的不同之处 。”
中国奢侈品顾问公司的联合创始人萨奇·布伦南表示：“贸易战是一个重要议题，但是它被视为一种暂时性挫折 。在未来20到30年里，中国将会继续影响和塑造美国旅游市场 。”