The damage to the US economy caused by the escalation of economic and trade frictions against China continues to emerge. The latest data show that the negative impacts also affect the U.S. tourism industry.
The shrinking number of Chinese tourists, cracking down on the U.S. tourism industry
According to Xinhua News Agency on August 17, Minneapolis is the largest city in Minnesota in the Midwest of the United States. It is also known as the State of Ten Thousand Lakes. It has many lakes and beautiful scenery. Tourism is one of the pillar industries in the state.
Tom Maloney, with short silver hair, warmly introduced the citys tourist attractions to every visitor at the downtown tourist center of Minneapolis Tourist Bureau. We dont see many Chinese tourists every day, he told reporters. We hope more Chinese tourists will come here.
CBS News reported that China has become the third largest market in the United States, spending an average of $5,800 per person on each trip. By contrast, the UK, the largest source of overseas tourism in the United States, spends only $2,500 per capita.
However, escalating economic and trade frictions have curbed the momentum of Chinese touriststravel to the United States.
According to the latest data from Oxford Institute of Economic Research, the number of Chinese tourists to the United States has begun to decrease since the beginning of 2018. As trade tensions continue, it is expected that by next year, the number of Chinese tourists to the United States will be reduced by 2 million, and the loss of tourism revenue in the United States will reach $11 billion.
The research firm estimates that a sharp drop in Chinese tourists last year led to a $2 billion drop in tourist spending. This year, Chinese tourists are expected to reduce by 650,000, which means another $3.8 billion in losses. Although these figures may not be as impressive as the total US $20 trillion economy, they are of great significance to the local economy in the context of the economic slowdown, and even more important to small businesses that rely on tourism.
According to the official statistics of the United States, the number of Chinese tourists to the United States decreased by 6% in 2018, the first decline in 15 years.
In this regard, U.S. tourism experts believe that the reduction in the number of tourists is visible to the naked eye, so from an economic point of view, the sooner the government ends the trade dispute, the better. But there are also many tourism practitioners who are confident about the future. Eliot Ferguson, chairman of the board of directors of the American Tourist Association, said that although the economic risks were real, in the long run, interests and needs still existed and would go all out in the hope that the situation would be reversed.
The American business community is also lamenting: Where have Chinese tourists gone?
Not only tourism, but also the number of Chinese tourists to the United States has decreased dramatically, and the relevant industries in the United States are under great pressure.
According to references quoted by the Financial Times, thousands of Chinese tourists have avoided the United States as a holiday destination. From jewelry brand Tiffany to Hyatt Hotel, many companies are calculating losses.
Macys sales were unexpectedly weak in the second quarter of this year, partly because of a 9% drop in sales driven by foreign tourists, it said. Jeffrey Ginnit, chief executive of the company, said the drop in visitor numbers was not a minor problem because of the high profit margin of goods sold to tourists. They are more inclined to buy at full price, and there is almost no return, he said.
This summer, a travel consultant reminded Chinese tourists of the risk of shooting, robbery and theft in the United States, as well as harassment by local law enforcement officials. Sachs of Tourism Economics Consulting said he understood that such a reminder prompted some students and tour groups to cancel their trip to the United States.
According to the National Tourism Administration, Chinese tourists accounted for less than 8% of foreign tourists who traveled to the United States last year, less than 12% of British tourists, but Chinese tourists contributed more to the U.S. economy than tourists from any other country.
According to the article, about 40 stores in Macys are most affected by the decrease of Chinese tourists. Ginnit said Macys department store is trying to find ways to attract more domestic tourists and local customers. We are trying to offset the decline in business caused by the decline in Chinese tourists, he said.
However, other executives say they are taking a delaying strategy to see the change. Glenn Fogel, chief executive of Booking, said it was important not to retreat simply because of temporary changes. In the long run, there are still huge business opportunities in China.