U.S. expected to welcome 28% fewer China visitors in 2020

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U.S. expected to welcome 28% fewer China visitors in 2020
Photo Credit: Photo Spirit/Shutterstock

The United States could see a 28% drop in visits from China this year and lose $10.3 billion in cumulative travel spending over the next few years because of coronavirus, according to a projection from Tourism Economics

The analysis attempts to gauge the economic fallout from the virus and the resulting travel bans and cancellations by comparing the current outbreak to the SARS epidemic of 2003.

Because visits from China have grown nearly 13 times since 2002 to an estimated 2.8 million last year, the potential impact of coronavirus will be much larger than SARS, Tourism Economics said.

“We expect the most significant declines will be experienced in 2020 with recovery beginning in the latter part of this year,” the authors wrote. “While growth will accelerate in 2021, the entire recovery will span four years, like the SARS experience. A total of 1.6 million visits from China will be lost, with 56% of the loss occurring in 2020.”

The hotel industry, the report projects, will lose 4 million room nights from China visitors alone in 2020, with California and New York expected to feel the biggest impact from the drop in Chinese visitors, followed by Nevada, Washington and Hawaii.

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