US had steady stream of tourists in the summer

By PAUL WELITZKIN in New York | | Updated: 2017-09-19 05:19

US had steady stream of tourists in the summer

Christopher Thompson, president and CEO of Brand USA. Photo provided to

Despite predictions that President Donald Trump's statements and actions might reduce the number of tourists from China and other countries visiting the US during the summer, the head of a US nonprofit travel promotion agency said early indications show a steady stream of visitors.

"Anecdotally, we are talking about a good season overall," said Christopher Thompson, president and CEO of Brand USA, the destination marketing organization that promotes tourism in the US, in an interview. "Our partners are saying there weren't any dramatic decreases."

The rates of Chinese visitors to the US have been steadily increasing. In 2015, there were approximately 2.6 million. Goldman Sachs estimates that the number of Chinese visitors to the US will reach 5 million annually by 2025.

"China is the largest outbound market in the world," said Thompson. The National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) at the US Department of Commerce reported that China was the single-largest source of international tourism spending in the US in 2016 and on average each Chinese traveler spent about $7,500 during a trip to the US.

This week, more than 200 US and Chinese tourism-industry leaders and government officials will meet in Atlanta (Wednesday-Saturday) for the 11th annual US-China Leadership Summit. The summit, which alternates between the US and China yearly, provides a forum for officials to discuss major issues that affect tourism between the two largest economies in the world.

"This is a chance for leadership from the government and private sector to get together and discuss the major issues and how to increase the number of visitors between the two countries," Thompson said.

The summit also provides business sessions and networking opportunities and comes a year after the completion of the 2016 US-China Tourism Year, which then-President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping jointly designated to recognize the development of Sino-American tourism.

Current NTTO projections suggest by 2018, the UK and China will likely be the top-two overseas source markets. It's expected that double-digit increases in the number of Chinese arrivals each year will continue through 2020. Brand USA is active in China and has established offices in Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, and Shanghai to market the country to China's growing middle class.

Last year's summit was held in the Chinese city of Yinchuan, the capital of China's Ningxia Hui autonomous region. Brand USA arranges the summit in conjunction with the China National Tourism Administration, the agency responsible for tourism development in the mainland.

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349