After a decade of astronomical growth in Chinese visitors to
the U.S., the trend ground to a halt in 2018.
Chinese travel to the U.S. was flat after registering
average annual growth of 23% over the last 10 years, partly due to trade
tensions between the two countries, said the World Travel & Tourism Council.
China accounts for 4% of total U.S. visitors but 11% of all spending.
"Given the economic importance of Chinese visitors, any
thawing in the trade relations between the two countries would have a positive
effect for the wider U.S. economy," said WTTC CEO Gloria Guevara.
Despite no increase in international visitors from China, the
United States in 2018 continued to be the world's largest travel and tourism
economy in terms of contribution to GDP.
WTTC research found that travel and tourism contributed
almost $1.6 trillion, or 7.8%, to U.S. GDP in 2018, a 2.2% increase year over
WTTC's analysis shows that the direct, indirect and induced
impact of travel and tourism in the U.S. accounted for 15.6 million jobs and
$198.8 billion in spending by international visitors in 2018, a 0.9% decrease.
Globally, WTTC found that travel and tourism contributed
$8.8 trillion to the economy in 2018, growing faster than global GDP for the
eighth successive year (the travel economy grew 3.9%, compared to 3.2% for