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New York City needs China's tourists to bounce back

12/19/2023| 5:59:32 PM|

In 2019, 8% of the 14 million tourist arrivals to the US were from China, but this year only 3% of international visitors are expected to be from China.

New York City's tourism industry is bouncing back, but one country is slowing down the recovery — China.

Though New York City hotel occupancy rates are nearing pre-pandemic levels, the recovery is hindered by a significant decline in Chinese tourists, who typically spend the most money and stay in the US for a whopping 12 nights on average.

Dan Krauth of WABC summarized his discussions with some hotel operators this week, noting that the tourism industry won't return to 100% until the Chinese market returns.

"What they care about is China," Krauth said. "That is the one market that hasn't returned yet. They stay the longest and spend the most money. "

In 2019, New York City had 67 million visitors, the 10th consecutive year in which it set a record, according to the office of the New York Comptroller. Those visitors generated about $68 billion in annual economic impact, including about $6 billion in taxes for the city, according to WABC in New York.

The New York City Tourism and Conventions office is projecting the number of international visitors to be about 80% of 2019's amount.

In 2019, 14 million people visited from outside the US, and about 8% were from China, according to the New York City Tourism and Conventions office. Only the UK, which represented about 10% of all tourists, had more.

This year, only 3% of international visitors, or about 390,000, are expected to be from China, down from the pre-pandemic levels of about 1.1 million annually.

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TAGS: New York | US tourism | tourist arrivals
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