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Chinese tourists in the United States

How to Attract Chinese Tourists to the United States

Chinese tourism in the United States has been growing for years. However, COVID-19 and fraying Sino-American relations have caused a decrease in Chinese tourists to the US, impacting the travel industry and economy.

In this blog post, we will present to you the best ways to attract Chinese tourists to the United States after the worldwide pandemic. Keep reading to discover how to welcome Chinese tourists to America effectively!

Are Chinese tourists interested in visiting the United States?

The surge in Chinese tourists visiting the United States over the past few years can be attributed to China’s growing middle class and its increasing disposable income.

As more Chinese citizens are drawn to international travel, the U.S. has become a popular destination, offering an array of attractions that cater to various interests such as leisure, business, education, and family visits.

Despite a slight decrease in numbers due to fraying diplomatic relations between these two global powers, it is undeniable that incoming Chinese tourists have had an impressive economic impact on American businesses.

According to recent data, these travelers contributed approximately $33.5 billion through tourism-related spending in 2019. As the Chinese people are back on track when it comes to international travel, we can expect even higher numbers in the upcoming years.

Popular destinations and attractions for Chinese travelers

Chinese tourists have been flocking to the United States in recent years, showing a strong preference for iconic landmarks and destinations rich in culture and natural beauty. Based on surveys and travel data, these are some of the most popular destinations and attractions for Chinese visitors:

  1. New York City – The bustling metropolis is a must-visit for its Times Square, Central Park, Statue of Liberty, and shopping opportunities.
  2. California – From the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, California offers a variety of attractions catering to different interests.
  3. Boston – With prestigious institutions like Harvard University and historical sites such as Freedom Trail and Quincy Market, Boston is steeped in American culture and history.
  4. National parks – Chinese tourists are increasingly drawn to US national parks like Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, and Yosemite for their breathtaking natural landscapes.
  5. Las Vegas – Known for its casinos, luxury hotels, and lively nightlife, Las Vegas has become a popular destination for vacationing Chinese visitors.
  6. Hawaii – The tropical paradise attracts Chinese tourists with its beautiful beaches, unique island culture, and range of outdoor activities.
  7. Theme parks – Universal Studios Hollywood and Walt Disney World are beloved attractions among families and young travelers seeking thrill rides paired with fun-filled entertainment experiences.

As we continue to see an increase in Chinese tourism across the United States, it’s important for businesses operating within this market to understand their preferences when crafting tailored offerings designed to attract more visitors from China.

Seasonal trends and preferences in Chinese tourism

Chinese tourists tend to travel during major holidays such as the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) or National Day Golden Week holiday in October, as well as during summer months when schools are on break.

These peak seasons often see a surge in demand for popular destinations like Los Angeles, New York City, and Las Vegas. Additionally, shopping is a favorite pastime for many Chinese tourists, with luxury brands being particularly popular.

However, there has also been an increasing interest in cultural experiences and nature exploration among younger travelers.

Interestingly, family vacations and healthcare tourism have become increasingly important segments of the Chinese outbound travel market. With China’s aging population and growing middle class seeking higher-quality medical care abroad at more affordable prices than what they can find domestically.

In response to this trend, some U.S. hospitals have started offering VIP packages tailored specifically toward wealthy foreign patients from China who require specialized treatment or elective procedures not available within mainland China’s healthcare system.

Cultural differences and tips for welcoming Chinese tourists

Understanding Chinese culture is key to providing excellent service for Chinese tourists visiting the US, from recognizing lucky numbers and colors to offering familiar cuisine; read on to learn more about effective strategies for welcoming this growing demographic.

Emphasis on “face” (mianzi)

Chinese people place great importance on “face” (mianzi), a crucial concept in Chinese culture that emphasizes maintaining harmonious relationships and avoiding public embarrassment.

For service providers, understanding the significance of face concerns can greatly improve my destination experience.

For example, when visiting a restaurant or hotel in the United States, it’s important for staff to be attentive to Chinese guests’ needs without being overly intrusive. Additionally, displaying knowledge of lucky numbers and symbols in Chinese culture can show sensitivity and appreciation for our customs.

Travel preferences: shopping, cultural experiences, and nature exploration

We believe that for Chinese tourists visiting the United States, shopping is an important part of their travel preferences. Many Chinese visitors come to the US with a desire to buy luxury goods, especially those that are hard to find or more expensive in the Chinese market due to high tariffs.

Shopping destinations like Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and Fifth Avenue in New York City are prime spots for Chinese consumers.

However, cultural experiences and nature exploration also play significant roles in attracting Chinese tourists. For instance, many visitors from China seek out opportunities to experience American culture by watching Hollywood movies or attending major sporting events like the Super Bowl or NBA finals.

Similarly, outdoor activities such as hiking in national parks like Yellowstone or Yosemite offer unique natural landscapes that cannot be found anywhere else, attracting many Chinese travellers every year.

Providing Chinese-language services and amenities

According to industry experts, providing Mandarin-speaking staff, offering menus or signs written in Chinese and familiar products such as food items can make all the difference in the world.

It’s also crucial that we understand cultural differences and customs such as gift-giving practices, dining etiquette, lucky numbers, and symbols that are important to many Chinese travelers.

For instance, some duty-free shops have begun focusing on these cultural aspects of the shopping experience since they believe it can help explore Chinese customers’ well-being perceptions while at a duty-free shop.

Boston has even started using cultural awareness initiatives to attract more Chinese tourists which includes providing amenities and services associated with their culture like Mandarin language lessons or cross-cultural training programs for staff who may be unfamiliar with some aspects of their travel expectations.

Offering Chinese cuisine and familiar products

While American culture is diverse and rich, Chinese cuisine has also made a significant impact on the tourism industry and consumers in the US.

For hotels, restaurants, or any other service providers catering to Chinese tourists, offering authentic dishes from various regions and particularly accommodating dietary restrictions would undoubtedly appeal to our tastes and attract Chinese outbound tourism.

Besides food options, providing culturally relevant amenities such as tea kettles, slippers, and toothbrushes with packaged toothpaste can make us feel more comfortable during our stay.

Also seeing menus in both English and Mandarin languages will certainly help bridge language barriers when ordering food items.

Language barriers and communication tips

Language barriers can be a significant challenge for both service providers and visitors. Here are some tips to help mitigate these obstacles:

Utilize translation technology

There are several apps and devices available that can assist with translating languages in real time. Google Translate is a widely used option, but there are also specialized devices like Pocketalk that can create a more seamless communication experience.

Learn basic Chinese phrases

While it’s not necessary to become fluent in Mandarin or Cantonese, learning some basic words and phrases can go a long way in making Chinese tourists feel welcome. Simple greetings, directions, and food-related vocabulary are good places to start.

Practice active listening

When communicating with Chinese tourists who are non-native speakers of English, it’s important to slow down your speech and focus on active listening. Be patient and ask clarifying questions if necessary.

Use visual aids

Visual aids like maps, diagrams, or images can help bridge the communication gap when words fail.

Provide written materials in Chinese

Offering brochures, menus, or other materials written in simplified Chinese characters shows Chinese tourists that you value their business and are willing to go the extra mile to accommodate them.

By keeping these tips in mind when interacting with Chinese tourists, you can help make their travel experience smoother and more enjoyable while also opening up new opportunities for cultural exchange and understanding between China and the United States.

Gift-giving practices

In Chinese culture, gift-giving is an important aspect of building relationships and showing appreciation. However, it’s important to understand the nuances of Chinese gift-giving customs in order to avoid misunderstandings or offense.

When giving gifts to Chinese visitors or business clients, it’s important to be thoughtful and culturally sensitive. Consider personalizing the gift with their name or a meaningful symbol that relates to their culture.

It may also be helpful to consult with a cultural expert or do some research beforehand to ensure that your gift is appropriate and appreciated by your recipient.

Strategies for marketing to Chinese tourists

There are many ways to attract Chinese travellers to your destination and the best way is to leverage different marketing tactics and use different channels to succeed.

Focus on Chinese social media platforms

Chinese tourists heavily rely on Chinese social media marketing when planning their trips, so it’s essential to have a strong presence on these channels. Utilize popular platforms like WeChat, Weibo, and Douyin to showcase your brand and offer exclusive promotions.

Offer multiple payment options

Chinese tourists prefer using Alipay and WeChat Pay over traditional payment methods like credit cards. Ensure that these payment options are available at your establishment.

Create an authentic experience

Many Chinese travelers prioritize cultural experiences when visiting a new destination. Consider offering tours or packages that highlight local customs or attractions.

Leverage influencers

Social media influencers play a significant role in shaping travel trends for Chinese tourists and Chinese shoppers. Partnering with relevant influencers can help increase brand awareness and attract more visitors.

Highlight luxury amenities

Many Chinese tourists are willing to spend money on high-end products and services while traveling. Showcase luxurious amenities like spa treatments or fine dining options to attract these visitors.

Adjusting products and services to meet the needs of Chinese tourists

As American companies look to cater to Chinese tourists, it’s crucial that they adjust their products and services accordingly. This means diversifying offerings beyond the typical tourist destinations and broadening experiences beyond just shopping to attract the young Chinese audience.

Curated experiences that allow for immersion in local culture, such as language classes or guided tours of historic neighborhoods, can be a big draw for Chinese tourists traveling to the US.

Providing amenities like access to Chinese-language TV channels and offering familiar foods can also make a trip more comfortable for them.

Partnerships with Chinese travel agencies and tour operators

Creating partnerships with Chinese travel agencies and tour operators can bring valuable opportunities. These partnerships can provide access to a broader market of travelers while also helping to navigate cultural differences and language barriers between you and potential Chinese customers.

However, it’s important to be aware of challenges that may arise, such as local competition towards Chinese-speaking guides.

We can help you create the best marketing strategy to attract Chinese tourists!

The growth of Chinese tourism in the United States presents significant opportunities for economic benefit and cultural exchange between the two countries, as long as businesses adapt to meet the unique needs and customs of Chinese travelers.


We are a China-based marketing agency focused on providing cost-effective solutions for Western companies wanting to reach out to Chinese consumers. Our team of Chinese and foreign experts has the experience and know-how needed to succeed in the Chinese market.

We offer many services, including:

Don’t hesitate to leave us a comment or contact us, so that we can schedule a meeting with one of our experts, that will learn about your brand and present you with the best solutions to attract Chinese tourists to your destination!


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  1. Hi do you have chinese tourists in usa statistics for 2018?
    It is true that USA is a top destinations for chinese tourists
    Do you have the data of the number of chinese tourists to usa 2017
    What are top Spots ? where do chinese tourists go in the us
    What is the average spending in us for Chinese People ?

    If you have any report or anything will be glad to receive it chinese tourists in america

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