Travel News

Number of Chinese tourists expected to swell during China-U.S. Tourism Year

2016-06-23 09:35Global Times Editor: Li Yan

As 2016 is set to be the China-U.S. Tourism Year, a growing number of Chinese tourists are expected to visit the U.S. The U.S. government's cooperation with domestic travel agencies, favorable visa policy and new airline services are the driving factors behind the travel boom, experts said. Although domestic tourists have a great passion for long-distance trips, destinations around China remain hot. Meanwhile, Chinese visitors should improve their manners when traveling overseas.

United Airlines is scheduled to launch on July 15 a route from Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang Province, to its U.S. hub at San Francisco International Airport.

The new service follows the airline's launch of a route between San Francisco and Xi'an, capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, in May.

In January, Hainan Airlines expanded its nonstop service to the U.S.'s west coast with a route from Changsha, capital of Central China's Hunan Province, to Los Angeles.

In March, China Eastern Airlines launched a direct flight from Shanghai to Chicago.

As 2016 marks the China-U.S. Tourism Year, airlines have been eagerly expanding service between the two countries.

Thanks to a favorable visa policy, an increasing number of Chinese travelers are expected to flood the U.S. over the next five years, experts said.

The Airports: China Forecast, a report released by strategic aviation solutions and planning company Boyd Group International, indicates that the annual China-generated arrivals in the U.S. will swell from 2.4 million in 2015 to more than 6.5 million in 2020, and more than 23 million Chinese will visit the U.S. in the five years, global news portal reported on June 9.

"The number of Chinese visitors to the U.S. reached about 2.5 million in 2015 and is forecast to approach 3 million in 2016," said Zhu Zhengyu, a tourism analyst with Beijing-based market consultancy Analysys International.

Zhu said that the west coast and east coast of the U.S. are the main destinations for Chinese visitors as domestic travel agencies have promoted comprehensive travel products.

"Sightseeing is the primary activity, and shopping is less popular than before," Zhu told the Global Times on Monday.

China and the U.S. launched the 2016 China-U.S. Tourism Year in Beijing in February.

"Expanding travel and tourism is critically important to both of our countries, not just to foster people-to-people exchanges, but as a key pillar of economic growth. The Tourism Year will help us communicate that we welcome travelers from China and encourage them to experience all that the U.S. has to offer," U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews was quoted as saying in a statement posted on the U.S. Commerce Department in February.

Easing visa restrictions

Experts attributed the boom in Chinese travelers to the U.S. to government promotion and a favorable visa policy.

The U.S. government and travel authority have stepped up efforts to strengthen cooperation with Chinese travel firms during the China-U.S. Tourism Year, Zhu said.

The key is the favorable visa policy released in 2014 by China and the U.S. for a reciprocal extension of visa validity for tourist and business travel from one to 10 years, and student travel from one to five years, experts noted on Monday.

"The new visa policy makes it much more convenient for me to travel to the U.S.," a 20-something white-collar worker surnamed Zhang in Beijing told the Global Times on Monday.

Zhang plans to take a one-week, self-guided tour to the U.S. in early August to visit cities along the east coast, such as Washington D.C. and New York.

"I will visit some cultural landscapes in the capital, and plan a two-day stay in New York to shop," he said.


Related news


Most popular in 24h

MoreTop news


Travel News
Travel Types
Bar & Club
CNS Photo
Learning Chinese
Learn About China
Social Chinese
Business Chinese
Buzz Words
Special Coverage
Back to top Links | About Us | Jobs | Contact Us | Privacy Policy
Copyright ©1999-2018 All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.