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U.S. Travel Association exec talks China visitation, Real ID

10/23/2019| 5:09:55 PM|

Last year, the number of Chinese visitors to Las Vegas decreased by 9% to under 237,000.

The annual number of Chinese travelers to the United States has been dropping recently, a trend that has caught the attention of the U.S. Travel Association.

That’s just one of the topics that Tori Barnes, executive vice president of public affairs and policy for the association, touched on in a recent interview.

Only three other countries — Canada, Mexico and Australia — and the United Kingdom have more visitors to Las Vegas than China. Last year, however, the number of Chinese visitors here — just under 237,000 — dipped by 9%, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

With the friction between the U.S. and China over trade relations, is that something the association is worried about?

Tori Barnes said, unfortunately, we do expect it to affect travel. The strength of the dollar and trade tensions are two of the major reasons why we are seeing a decline in our share of the market for international long-haul visitors. We went from about 3.2 million visitors from China in 2017 to about 3 million in 2018 and we’re seeing a similar decline here in 2019.

That is of concern. We are advocating for these governments to come to a resolution soon, because it’s going to end up having a negative effect on our economy.

On average, Chinese travelers spend almost $7,000 per visit. That’s compared to the average international traveler spending about $4,000. The Chinese stay longer and spend more money, so it’s a critical set of international travelers.

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TAGS: U.S. | Travel Association | Real ID
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