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3 Apr, 2017

Reality check: Chinese visitors spend more than any other country in U.S.

Beijing, 01 April 2017, (People’s Daily Online commentary) – Recently, China-U.S. relations have attracted global attention. While some find endless faults with the trade relationship with China and blame China for America’s decline, we shouldn’t overlook the numerous positive aspects of the bilateral relationship, which overall outweigh the disadvantages.

One way to explain this truth is to look at data about Chinese travelers. The U.S. trade relationship with China is helping to create a burgeoning middle class in a country with a population of about 1.4 billion people. The growing ranks of affluent Chinese is spearheading an explosion in travel, which is changing global tourism and creating new opportunities for all countries. The influx of Chinese spending benefits the U.S. economy.

China and the U.S. enjoy a strong, close relationship. Each year, millions of Chinese visitors travel to the U.S., and when they do, they spend big. According to data by the U.S. Travel Association, China is one of the fastest-growing inbound travel markets to the U.S. In 2015, 2.6 million Chinese travelers visited the U.S., accounting for 7 percent of overseas arrivals. This number continues to grow; and in 2021, the country is projected to be number one in terms of overseas travelers to the U.S., with 5.7 million Chinese visitors.

Travelers from China spend more than any other country. In fact, Chinese visitors and students put billions back into the pockets of Americans, each and every year. The economic impact of millions of Chinese visitors to the U.S. is substantial, and is a testament to the fruits of the China-U.S. relationship. Spending by Chinese visitors and students, including money spent on U.S. airlines, reached $30 billion in 2015; and the average spending by Chinese visitors was about $7,200, according to the trade association’s data.

Most would agree that maintaining a peaceful, productive relationship with China is of the utmost importance for the U.S. It is therefore vital to take a step back and examine all aspects of the bilateral relationship, both positive and negative; more importantly, it is vital for both sides to find ways to emphasize strengthening the positive over the negative. While challenges exist, the bilateral relationship as a whole benefits both sides, as well as the world.