US eager to cater to Chinese tourists

August 26, 2014 - 1:05 PM
Chinese Tourist Surge

In this July 18, 2014 photo, South Coast Plaza General Manager Werner Escher, middle at doorway, greets Chinese tourists visiting the shopping center in Costa Mesa, Calif. Chinese tourism is surging and the mall is a popular destination that is doing what it can to keep the buses coming, from accepting China’s UnionPay card to providing Mandarin-speaking salespeople. Tourism from China to the United States has soared since the countries signed an agreement in 2007 promoting travel. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Tourism from China to the United States has soared in the last seven years. Some facts about where the tourists go, what they do and how much they spend:

HOW MANY ARE COMING?

More than 1.8 million Chinese visited the United States in 2013, up 23 percent from a year before. The number of Chinese visiting the country has more than tripled since 2008, and is expected to surpass 4 million by 2018.

WHY ARE THEY COMING?

More than half of Chinese visitors say they come to the United States for leisure or to see family and friends, and more than three-quarters listed shopping and sightseeing among their top activities, federal government statistics show. About 46 percent stopped in California and nearly a third went to New York.

HOW MUCH ARE THEY SPENDING?

Chinese tourists spent $9.8 billion in 2013, compared to $3.6 billion five years earlier. Chinese tourists each spend an average of $5,400 during their trips, 21 percent more than the average for all overseas tourists.

HOW DOES THIS COMPARE TO TOURISM FROM OTHER COUNTRIES?

In 2013, China had the largest growth in the number of tourists to America among the top 10 countries of origin, but still ranked seventh on the overall list. Canada and Mexico, which border the U.S., still lead with the most visitors, trailed by the United Kingdom, Japan, Brazil and Germany.

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce