How the steep decline in Chinese tourists will cost the U.S.

U.S. tourism officials are pining for the return of Chinese tourists, by far the biggest spenders among global travelers

Aug 25, 2023

The average Chinese tourist traveling independently spends $10,445 on a trip to the U.S.. Comparatively, the typical visitor from the United Kingdom or Brazil spends $2,576 and $3,269, respectively, while the average Japanese tourist spends $3,783. In other words, it takes roughly three Brazilian tourists or four U.K. tourists to make up for every Chinese tourist who travels elsewhere.

Key takeaways

  • In 2019, 2.8 million Chinese visitors accounted for only 4% of all inbound foreign travelers to the U.S., yet they accounted for 13% of spending;
  • This year, fewer than 850,000 Chinese will travel here - a 68% drop in traveler volume translates to more than $20 billion that Chinese visitors will not spend in the U.S. this year;
  • The fall-off has taken an especially big toll on San Francisco, where Chinese visitors injected over $1.2 billion into the local economy the year before the pandemic.

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