US to start ‘road show’ to attract Chinese tourists but flight limits remain
07/11/2023|2:39:45 PM|Skift

US destination marketing organizations plan to ramp up their marketing activities in China later this year. How much depends on progress the two governments make on restoring air service to pre-pandemic levels. 

In the coming weeks, US destination marketing organizations are making their first sales trips to China. In August and September, Visit California and New York City Tourism + Conventions will make their first sales missions to China since the pandemic.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, China was the US’s fifth largest tourism market. Over 2.8 million Chinese tourists came to the US in 2019, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office. This year, there are expected to be 849,000 Chinese tourists in the US — 30% of its pre-pandemic level. 

Weekly flights are nowhere near where they were in 2019. The number of weekly flights between the US and China sit at 24 — down from about 350 per week before the pandemic. 

While air service remains limited, some destination marketing organizations have been trying to keep themselves in the mind of Chinese tourists. 

Through the pandemic, New York City Tourism + Conventions has been maintaining an active social media presence on Chinese social media platforms Weibo and WeChat. New York will ramp marketing as more flights resume service and restrictions on outbound group travel relax. 

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