Chinese tourists' interest in traveling to the US has withered as peak vacation season approaches amid escalating trade tensions between the two countries, industry data and analysts suggested.
Data provided by online travel platform Mafengwo.com to the Global Times on Wednesday showed that in the first half of 2018, search popularity for once-popular US cities, including Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Boston, showed a decline in July, traditionally a peak season for US tourism.
Meanwhile, Chinese tourists showed increasing interest in cities in Russia and some European countries. For example, Moscow was up 78% in popularity, while Nice in France was up by 31%, Mafengwo data showed.
Jiang Yiyi, director of international tourism development at the Beijing-based China Tourism Academy, told the Global Times on Wednesday that though the number of Chinese tourists is not the highest among foreign tourists in the US, "our purchasing power definitely ranks among the top of the list."
"If the number of Chinese tourists decreases, entire tourism-related services sectors in the US are set to be harmed, including shopping destinations, airlines and the catering industry," Jiang said.
The US Travel Association report also said that China is projected to be the US' second-largest overseas inbound market by 2020.
However, experts noted that under the current Sino-US trade relations, the goal might not be achievable.