Annual Chinese visitor numbers for New York are expected to exceed 1 million by 2018, according to NYC & Co, the city's official destination marketing organization.
New York welcomed a record 958,000 visitors from the Chinese mainland last year, according to statistics by NYC & Co, a 10 percent increase over the previous year, making China its second-largest source of tourists after Canada.
"Since 2010, Chinese visitation to New York City has grown vigorously from 229,000 visitors to 870,000 in 2015, which was an impressive 280 percent increase," said Makiko Matsuda Healy, senior vice-president of NYC & Co, in a recent written interview.
"Slower growth rates are expected as the fast-rising market grows bigger, but the continuous gains will keep the market on pace to break 1 million soon," she added.
China is also becoming a crucial tourism market for other cities in the United States. The Chicago Tourism Bureau said that the number of Chinese visitors last year grew by 22 percent. In Los Angeles, the city's tourism and convention board revealed that a record was set when nearly 800,000 tourists from the Chinese mainland visited the city in 2015. Visitor numbers have also been experiencing double-digit growth for six consecutive years.
According to NYC & Co, the Chinese market is transitioning from business and group tours to fully independent travelers, with many of those visiting the US coming from a younger and more affluent generation. In addition, about half of Chinese travelers to the US are first-time visitors.
NYC & Co also called for visitors to experience the sights, sounds and bustle of the new midtown Manhattan. Known for its world-famous icons and attractions, including the Empire State Building, Grand Central Terminal, Rockefeller Center, Fifth Avenue, Broadway and Times Square. The area has gone through a complete transformation over the past few years and continues to evolve.
"New York City invites the world to see the new and iconic midtown Manhattan, where the city's unparalleled energy and lively spirit make all visitors feel welcome," said Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Co.
"New hotels, unmatched entertainment, world-class dining and new immersive attractions give first-time and repeat visitors more reasons to rediscover the heart of the city," he added.